No parole for Flint man serving life for 1993 hate crime

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No parole for Flint man serving life for 1993 hate crime

No parole for Flint man serving life for 1993 hate crime

Texas officials have denied parole for the only defendant to receive a life sentence in a 1993 hate crime that ended in the death of a Tyler man who was gay.

David McMillan, formerly of Flint, became eligible for parole in December after serving 30 years for kidnapping Nicholas West and robbing him of his money, watch, and his truck.

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West, whose body was found in a Noonday clay pit, died from multiple gunshots fired by two other defendants, who have since been executed.

McMillan, 47, says prison has changed him, making him a better person capable of contributing to the free society. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles disagreed, saying the brutal and violent nature of his crime reflects someone who poses a continuing threat.

“The record indicates the instant offense has elements of … conscious selection of victim’s vulnerability indicating a conscious disregard for the lives, safety, or property of others,” according to a Feb. 1 decision posted on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website.

McMillan expressed his disappointment and frustration about the decision in an email sent Feb. 6 to Deanna Luprete, executive director and founder of The Epicenter Initiative. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to helping youth offenders serving extreme sentences in the adult prison system.

McMillan was 17 years old at the time of the offense. During his incarceration, Luprete said McMillan has taken every opportunity to better himself.

She said she is “appalled” by the board’s decision.

“The family and I were just sure that he was going to walk out of his door and contribute to society,” she said in a telephone interview Thursday.

Luprete shared an email she received from McMillan, who expressed frustration that the board appeared to disregard his faith, self-reflection, rehabilitation efforts and classes he has taken.

“There is nothing more I can ‘show’ them that I have changed,” he wrote. “So, I will continue to live who I am today overshadowed by my past.”

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