03/17/05 — Parole board receives 'numerous' letters in Prevette case

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Parole board receives 'numerous' letters in Prevette case

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on March 17, 2005 1:49 PM

The N.C. Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission has received numerous letters about the possibility of parole for convicted killer Garfield Noah Prevette.

Prevette was sentenced in 1984 to life in prison, plus 40 years, for the kidnapping and murder of a 61-year-old woman in her home.

"We have gotten quite a bit of response," said Melita Groomes, the executive director of the commission. She said the possibility of Prevette's parole has generated "a lot of mail."

Prevette, 50, became eligible for a parole in 2004. Ms. Groomes said his status was reviewed in November, 2003, and again in November, 2004. The three-member commission denied parole both times.

Ms. Groomes said the most letters came between the two reviews. She declined to say how many letters were against Prevette's being paroled or how many were in favor of his being freed.

Prevette's case is expected to be reviewed again in November, Ms. Groomes said. She said the commission members do read and consider the mail that they receive.

"That's part of what they would consider," Ms. Groomes said.

Prevette was convicted of sexually mutilating Goldie Jones with a pair of scissors. The two had met through her voluntary prison ministry.

At the time of Jones' death, Prevette was on parole after being convicted of attempted rape. He also had been convicted of assaulting older women, drug possession, attempted prison escapes and misdemeanor sex offenses.

State law at the time made him eligible for parole in 20 years. Under current sentencing law, he would not be eligible for parole.

The Parole Commission includes Chairman Juanita Baker and members Jewyl Dunn and Charles Mann Sr.

People who want to express their opinion on the case can write to the Parole Commission at 4222 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-4222.