By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6
COWETA, OK -- An outraged family wants justice. Their only son was stabbed to death in 2001. They agreed to a plea bargain because they were told state law would require the killer to serve 85 % of his 25 year sentence before coming up for parole which would be 21 years. So, they can't understand why the killer is up for parole now, just eight years later.
Justin Archambo was with a group of guys who went to a party near Hectorville in 2001 when a fight broke out. Witnesses say Connell Curran grabbed three butcher knives and stabbed three boys in the chest. Two recovered, but Justin did not.
"He had his whole life ahead of him. He was going to be a doctor. Our dreams were shattered. We've never been the same and will never be the same," said Justin's mother, Glenda Archambo.
Justin's parents agreed to a plea bargain after being told Curran would serve 21 years of his 25 year sentence because months before, Oklahoma passed the 85% law, which means violent criminals must serve that much of their sentence, including first degree manslaughter.
But now, Curran's up for parole after just eight years, and Justin's family and friends are fighting it.
"I don't want to do through this year after year and year until he gets out, it's too hard," said Justin's father, Gary Archambo.
The parole board doesn't believe the 85% law applies in this case because the crime happened before the law, even though Curran's conviction happened after the law.
Curran has served his time at a minimum security prison and has received three college degrees from ORU. He even has a MySpace page. All of that makes the Archambos wonder if the punishment fits the crime.
"He's going to college, has MySpace page, our laws are not strict enough. He's not learning lessons. He's getting privileges that some of our young people out there would love to have," said Justin's mother, Glenda Archambo.
She says Curran has never apologized or expressed remorse for killing Justin, who wasn't able to go to college or fulfill any of his other dreams.
The Okmulgee County District Attorney believes the law is clear and they plan to fight any attempt to parole Curran before the 21 years.
Curran's parole was denied on Monday afternoon, but he will be up again for parole next year.