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Alabama governor opposes release of Judith Ann Neelley

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is opposing parole for a woman convicted of killing a teenager who was abducted from a north Georgia shopping mall more than 35 years ago.

Ivey sent a letter urging the state’s parole board to reject an early release for Judith Ann Neelley, 53.

Members are scheduled to consider her case on Wednesday, but Ivey said “under no circumstances” should Neelley be freed.

Neelley was convicted with husband Alvin Neelley of killing 13-year-old Lisa Ann Millican, who was abducted from a mall in Rome, Georgia, in 1982. The girl was sexually assaulted, injected with drain cleaner, shot and dumped into a canyon in northeast Alabama.

Relatives of Millican also have urged the board to deny Neelley her freedom.

Neelley’s lawyer said she wanted to waive the hearing, but paperwork was not filed and it is scheduled to occur in Montgomery.

Neelley was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to die, but Alabama Gov. Fob James commuted Neelley’s death sentence to life in 1999. A 2003 Alabama law barring Neelley from parole was ruled unconstitutional in March.

Ivey said the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles can consider the Legislature’s “clear policy judgment” in wanting Neelley to remain in prison.

“Do not forget the depravity of Ms. Neelley’s crimes. Do not forget the danger Ms. Neelley poses to society,” Ivey wrote.

Even if released from prison in Alabama, Neelley would remain in custody because Georgia authorities still have a warrant charging her with kidnapping.

Alvin Neelley, whom Judith Ann Neelley accused of being controlling and abusive, died in prison.

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