Convicted school shooter Michael Carneal was denied parole on Monday (September 26). The Kentucky Parole Board said that Carneal must spend the rest of his life behind bars for killing three of his classmates and injuring five others at Heath High School in 1997 when he was 14.
Carneal pleaded guilty to three counts of murder, five counts of attempted murder, and a count of first-degree burglary and was sentenced to life in prison. However, Carneal was eligible for parole because Kentucky law requires all minors sentenced to lengthy prison sentences to be given an automatic parole hearing after 25 years.
Carneal, now 39, admitted to the board that he still hears voices in his head, like those that told him to steal his neighbor’s gun and fire it into a crowded lobby at his high school.
He said he would live with his parents and continue to seek mental health treatment if he was released.
“There’s no justification or excuse for what I did,” Carneal told the board. “I’m offering an explanation. I realize there’s no excuse for what I did.”
The board denied his decision in a 7-0 vote after roughly 30 minutes of deliberations.
“Due to the seriousness of your crime – your crime involved a weapon, you had lives taken, and the seriousness, again – it is the decision of the parole board today to allow you to serve out the remainder of your sentence,” Parole Board Chairperson Ladeidra Jones.