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Cold Case Murder Suspect Could Be Released From Prison

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77-year-old Ola Kirk was raped and murdered in 1983. 77-year-old Ola Kirk was raped and murdered in 1983.
Lester Blackbear Lester Blackbear

Jennifer Loren, News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma family is relieved to find out the suspect recently identified in their grandmother's cold case murder has been denied parole.

But that doesn't mean he'll stay in prison forever.

The Oklahoma Impact team profiled the 1983 rape and murder of 77-year-old Ola Kirk as part of its in-depth look into the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

3/31/2011 Related Story: Family Fears Cold Case Murder Suspect Will Be Paroled

A former investigator told us the OSBI had plenty of evidence to arrest Lester Blackbear for the murder, but dropped the ball.  That investigator had Blackbear inprisoned for failing to register as a sex offender so the OSBI could build a new case.

The Oklahoma Impact Team was there as the District Attorney and a family member spoke to the parole board, asking that Blackbear be kept in prison.

"They are working on some DNA and trying to make a positive match. If he gets out before that then I'm sure he's going to leave Oklahoma and whether it's a positive match or not they won't find him I'm afraid," Sandra, a family member of the victim said.

The parole board voted unanimously to deny Blackbear's parole.  But, if the OSBI doesn't find the evidence needed to file murder charges, Blackbear will be released in December.

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