A clarification made by the Tennessee Supreme Court has no implication for the possibility for parole for two of the six people convicted in the Lillelid murderers.
Thursday, the state’s high court determined that a defendant convicted of first-degree murder as a juvenile on or after July 1, 1995 becomes eligible for parole after serving 51 years.
Six people were convicted for the 1997 killing of the Lillelid family in Greene County. Two of those convicts, Jason Bryant and Karen Howell, were minors at the time.
On April 6, 1997, the Lillelid family was carjacked at a rest area along Interstate 81 in Greene County. The carjackers forced the family to drive to a secluded area where they shot and killed Vidar Lillelid, his wife Delfina, and their six-year-old daughter Tabitha. Their two-year-old son Peter survived.
Initially, the six suspects, all from Kentucky, pleaded not guilty to the murders, but later, all six admitted guilt and are all serving life sentences.
Under the court’s clarification, Bryant and Howell will not become eligible for parole after serving at least 51 years in prison.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated the court’s clarification opened the possibility of parole for Bryant and Howell.