Despite backlash, state law will free convicted killer Donald Lee Brooks after decade behind bars

Local News

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A man imprisoned for murder has been granted parole and is set for release next month.

8News reported in May that Donald Lee Brooks, convicted of the 2010 killing of Gerald Hall in Amelia County, had been granted discretionary parole. Brooks was found guilty in the brutal death of Hall, who family members say was shot repeatedly and stabbed outside of the B &N Grill in Amelia County on April 12, 2010.

Sentenced to 28 years, Brooks has only served a decade behind bars. Come Thursday, Jul. 9, Brooks will be a free man.

Under the geriatric law provision, the Virginia Parole Board may consider someone age 65 or older, who has already served at least five years of their sentence, to be granted their release. 

The loophole is a puzzling one for the family of Hall, who told 8News his release doesn’t make sense.

“Doesn’t that really just encourage our community to say — If you’ve got a problem with somebody, wait until you’re 65? Then you can serve five years and walk free,” said Ruthie Webster, the sister of Gerald Hall.

Lee Harrison, the Amelia County Commonwealth’s Attorney, has panned the state’s parole board and their decision to release Brooks.

Photo explaining release from VADOC/New photo of Donald Lee Brooks. (Submitted)

“Man was in his late sixties when he murdered somebody,” Harrison said. “Give him 10 years for killing somebody, in kind of the ruthless manner in which he did it, to me is totally insane. Somebody says something that aggravates him, is he gonna do the same thing? Well, there’s no guarantee that he’s not.”

Harrison adds that the severity of the crime should have been taken into consideration by the state’s parole board.

“To me, we’re moving into a situation where it’s not criminal to commit crimes,” Harrison declared. “It’s like the parole board is above whatever they’re required to do. And they’re gonna do what they’re gonna do. And if you don’t like it, then that’s too doggone bad.”

Although disappointed, Gerald Hall’s family says the absurdity of Brook’s release fuels their desire to abolish the geriatric law. The family won’t stop until they do, in part, so others don’t have to endure what they’re going through now, in the future.

“We’re not gonna stop until that law is changed,” Webster said. “It has to be.”

RELATED: ‘It’s heartbreaking’: Victim’s family, local law enforcement pan release of convicted cop killer

RELATED: Friends of Vincent Martin say he will be released on parole this week

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