BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – A parole hearing for James Hamm Jr. will be held once again on February 1, 2021. Hamm is convicted of driving drunk and killing a former Tennessee state representative, Mike Locke, in 2014.
Hamm was found guilty of vehicular homicide by intoxication and leaving the scene of an accident with death – and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Hamm asked for release from jail on August 5. The parole board members hearing the case recommended it be re-heard in February.
The family of Locke and Sullivan County District Attorney General Barry Staubus pleaded with the board to deny parole for Hamm at the latest hearing.
DAG Staubus confirmed Monday, August 16 that the other parole board members have issued their vote and decided to go with the recommendation from the August 5 hearing.
State parole board member Gary Faulcon said in the hearing he wanted Hamm to successfully complete multiple drug screenings and be professionally evaluated for his risk to re-offend.
Faulcon said it was concerning to him that Hamm was found trying to falsify a urine sample while incarcerated two years ago, and the Tennessee Department of Corrections has not given him another since.
This is the third time Hamm has been up for parole, he has been denied twice before.
The family of Mike Locke says they will continue to fight for justice, and ask the parole board to keep his killer behind bars for the duration of his sentence. The family told News Channel 11 they are extremely disappointed in the parole board’s decision but will never give up. They also hope to advocate for other families going through the same process.
Around a dozen family members and friends of Locke showed up to the hearing on August 5 to show their opposition. They plan to gain even more support by February.