Couple Up For Parole Review - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/30/07 - Nacogdoches

Couple Up For Parole Review

by Donna McCollum

Back in 2005 the body of 22 month old toddler Harold Harris was found in a wooded area south of Nacogdoches. A year later, his mother and her bigamist husband pleaded guilty to injury to a child.  Amber McEntire and Darrell Yates III remain in prison where they serve a 15 year sentence for that crime.  

Since last fall's plea agreement, Pamela Harris knew to expect someday a state letter notifying her of parole reviews.  Yet when the letter arrived several weeks ago the victim's paternal grandmother couldn't help but be surprised. Harris exclaimed, " I thought it would be at least a couple of years."

But because Yates and McEntire aren't convicted of murdering baby Harold Harris, but rather injuring the child, they're eligible for parole much sooner. Yates review is in August. Mcentires' is in September. District Attorney Stephanie Stephens, who prosecuted the case said,  " That doesn't mean they're going to get parole. I'll be very surprised if they were granted parole."

As an assurance, Harris has had her input file to the parole board prepared well in advance. Harris pulled out a well organized packet. " I've had it together since a couple of days after Yates accepted his plea. I put it together then." And Stephens is gathering her argument together. Stephens explained,  " They'll look at the crime itself. They'll look at the circumstances and are these good parole candidates when we had to go to Mexico to get them back to face these charges. Obviously not."  

This year, Harris had not planned to conduct a vigil for her grandson in behalf of child abuse awareness, but when the letter arrived child abuse advocates convinced her otherwise. Harris said, " As long as it stays on people's minds that it does happen, it can happen and nobody is immune to it then I think every chance that each of us get that we can put that message out there, I think it helps." Stephens agrees. " We don't need to file away what happened to Harold. We need to keep it in our minds so that we work to protect other children." That's why other child advocates are mailing their letters off to the parole review board. They too have an interest in baby Harris.  

Amber McEntire's parents were contacted for this story. They chose not to comment.  

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