Convicted Murderer Up for Parole

Should a man convicted of murdering a little boy go free?

The murder happened 15 years ago in Thomasville. Now it's time to consider parole for Ernest Shuman.

It's been more than a decade since Ronald Wyche was murdered. The seven-year-old was last seen at a convenience store in Thomasville and his body was found in the Ochlocknee River a month later.

Convenience store owner Ernest Shuman was ultimately convicted of murdering Wyche. He talked with WCTV soon after the boy went missing.

"Somewhere between 6:30 and 7 o'clock he came up here and got a Coke and some chips. I can't tell you which way he went when he left here. I really don't know, I wasn't paying attention."

When a person in the state of Georgia is given a life sentence with parole, they are up for parole every eight years. For Ronald Wyche's mother, Bertha Sardis, this is a battle she will fight for the rest of her life.

Sardis says, "Knowing that he is coming up for parole, I put myself in my son's place. I'm doing this for my son and I'm doing it for other children out there, to help other children by trying to help keep him behind bars where he belongs so that no other parent or no one else would have to go through the same thing that I went through with."

Karen Bishop, a victim advocate, says, "It definitely reopens the wounds for the victim and the victim's family. It's constantly on their mind."

Bishop adds that the parole board will review letters sent by the victim's family, friends and other citizens, letters aimed at keeping a little boy's killer behind bars.

The parole board should make a decision sometime this month.


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