The Sun : Battered woman serving life for killing abusive husband RELEASED after term commuted

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A WOMAN serving life in prison for killing her abusive husband has been released more than 30 years after she was jailed.

Willie Mae Harris's application for parole was approved by the Arkansas Parole Board on Monday, according to The Appeal.

Arkansas Department of Correction
Willie Mae Harris was granted parole on May 14[/caption]

The 72-year-old woman, who is now blind, was granted parole on May 14 despite being sentenced to 140 years in 1985 for first-degree murder in Arkansas.

She had been jailed at the Wrightsville Women's Facility for 34 years and started petitioning for release through executive clemency in 1998.

Back in March, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he was planning to commute Harris' sentence.

Harris's daughter, Silvia Harris Wilkins, told The Appeal: "You just don't understand the joy that I'm feeling right now.

"My biggest fear was burying my mother in prison," she said. "Just to know that I don't have to do that and she's coming home is such a relief."

Harris reportedly plans to live with her two daughters in Texas.

According to her attorney, Arkansas and Texas must decide the specifics of Harris' parole within 45 days.

Wilkins told the news outlet how fortunate her mom feels about her upcoming release.

"You can hear it in her voice, nothing but joy, the smile in her voice. She's just excited," she said.

According to Harris' trial testimony, Harris fatally shot her husband, Clyde Harris, in January 1985,

She testified that she shot him after he tried to have anal sex with her and accused her of having a sexually transmitted disease.

Harris claimed she was arguing with her husband and was hitting him with a pistol when it went off and killed him with one trigger.

The Appeal reported that during trial, Harris told the jury that years of abuse led to her husband's accidental death.

"When I lie my head down, my husband was threatening to kill me," Harris said at trial.

"And I don't really know what happened. You all believe me, I did not shoot my husband."



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