UPDATE: The Advocate reported Fri. April 21, the state parole board rescinded Galbraith's parole, citing the victim's mother was not properly informed of a parole hearing. You can click here to read more about the story.
FORT POLK, La. – A convicted killer will be getting out of jail early thanks to a new state law.
Sunday, April 23, Samuel Galbraith, a man who kidnapped a woman, raped her, tied her to a tree, shot her in the eye and left her to die, will walk out of prison a free man.
In 1988, Galbraith was a soldier stationed at Fort Polk. Karen Hill was a 21-year-old, married to a soldier at Fort Polk, when she made a decision that would cost her life; she went to work.
James Hill is now haunted by his birthday. It was the last time he saw his wife alive. It was two days before Thanksgiving when Karen’s mom got the call that her child was dead, and nine years later before Galbraith was caught.
Due to a loss of some evidence, he was allowed to plead to manslaughter and attempted aggravated rape. He was sent to prison for 71 years, or so the family thought.
Due to a new state law, first-time felony offenders can be granted parole after they reach 45-years-old, and having served 20 years.
“Rape and murder are two heinous crimes,” said James. “I don’t see how someone could think he’s cured.”
Karen Hill’s family could not protect her from her fate, but as her killer prepares to get out, they focus on protecting her memory and keeping that alive.
Galbraith will be on parole until 2032 and is barred from having any contact with Karen’s family.