Mistaken letter from parole board says killer to be freed



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Posted on April 27, 2012 at 11:27 PM

Updated Saturday, Apr 28 at 7:06 PM

DALLAS - His sister's murder has long faded from the headlines, but not his heart.

"This ain't about my sister no more," said Martin Vallance, wiping away tears. "If they allow this guy to get out, he's going to kill again. He's going to rape again. That's what this is about."

It all started when the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles sent Martin Vallance three letters last month.

"I went through the roof," Vallance said. "I went back to 1976 when we found the bodies."

One of the bodies belonged to his big sister, Beth. At age 15, she and a friend were raped, then beaten to death near Kerrville.

"My sister had five skull fractures," Vallance said.

Lyle Brummett is the admitted accomplice who participated in the murders, but who is also serving two life sentences for murdering other young women.

The first letter from the state that Martin received recently said Brummett's parole was denied again. But days later came another one saying Brummett would be released into a treatment program.

Then a final letter left even more questions.

"This is something that we weren't expecting," said Renee Vallance Eubanks, the victim's younger sister.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles admits it made a rare mistake. It told News 8 it shouldn't have sent the letter saying Brummett's parole is denied, because it thought he was eligible for release through a treatment program until it realized Brummett didn't even qualify for that.

So the state set aside his case for special review and will vote on it again on May 11.

"If they allow him to get out," Vallance said, "the blood is on their hands. The three people on that board? It's their fault if he gets out and rapes and murders again. And I believe he will."

Mistake or not, Martin said those letters now leave uncertainty and ripped the scab off an emotional wound that has slowly been healing ever since Beth's death.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com