GEORGETOWN — Following his seventh appearance before the Delaware Parole Board, a convicted second-degree murderer who has been imprisoned since 1987 was granted parole Tuesday.
Ransford H. Bryan III has been jailed at Sussex Correctional Institution since his arrest and conviction in the shooting death of an 18-year-old Lewes man nearly 30 years ago.
Officials confirmed Thursday that he will be placed in Level IV house arrest when space is available in that program.
Douglas Brockway Jr. was found dead roughly three weeks after he went squirrel hunting in the woods with Bryan on Oct. 15, 1987, and did not return home. His decomposed body was located with three gunshot wounds to the back of head, according to family members.
After an initial conviction on second-degree murder and a life without parole sentence, Bryan appealed to the Supreme Court regarding alleged improper police questioning and was then found guilty of second-degree murder in a second trial.
The parole board rendered its decision on Tuesday, which followed a hearing on Jan. 24.
The length of Bryan’s Level IV stay will be determined by his supervising parole officer. At the time of the crime Brockway and Bryan were recent Cape Henlopen High School graduates. Bryan was living with Brockway’s family.
Prior to the January hearing, Mr. Brockway’s mother Peggy wrote a letter imploring the public to contact the parole board in opposition to Bryan’s release.
“I ask you please contact our parole board and ask that his parole be permanently denied,” Mrs. Brockway wrote, noting that her family stood behind denial as well.
“Let’s keep our state safe from these kind of people.”
An online petition to deny parole attracted 1,172 signers.
“Now and every year from now until he is released he will ask for parole,” Mrs. Brockway stated.
“I’m asking you to please sign this petition so we can keep him behind bars so he can’t put another person or family through this. We need to take a stand on these type of things to keep our community safe.”
Attempts to reach the Brockway family for comment Thursday were not immediately successful.
According to the Delaware Department of Correction, “House Arrest is a community custody program which is for offenders who are to be restricted to an approved residence in which specific sanctions are to be imposed and enforced. The House Arrest Program is administered by Probation Officers, and includes continuous electronic and direct surveillance.
“GPS supervision can be court ordered, but also is statutorily mandated. … Offenders are tracked 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
“TAD is an additional condition imposed by the courts to restrict alcohol consumption for offenders. It is generally imposed for offenders with serious alcohol addictions deemed to be a risk to the community.”
Following completion of house arrest, Bryan is slated to begin Level III intensive supervision which includes, “at least the equivalent of one hour of supervision per day and no more than 56 hours of supervision per week.
“The minimum of one hour of supervision per day is achieved through direct offender contact, collateral contact, verification of each offender’s activities (e.g., residence, employment, training and school), and performance with court-ordered treatment and Community Service. The emphasis is on supervision through increased community contacts.”
Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org