Signatures gathered on petition to keep Nancy Shoemaker kidnapper in prison

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Nancy Shoemaker's family and friends and supporters of the family ask you to sign a petition to keep one of two men charged in the nine-year-old's death in prison.

(Nancy Shoemaker)

Nancy was kidnapped and killed in 1990 while walking near her Wichita home. Prosecutors say she was then sexually assaulted and murdered by Doil Lane.

He'll never leave prison.

However, the parole board will again consider this fall whether Donald Wacker should go free. He's the man who helped Lane kidnap the girl.

The prisoner review board will hear public comments on Wacker's parole in October. One of three public-comment sessions is on Oct. 16 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Derby Police Station.

Two other public comment sessions happen ahead of the hearing, one in Kansas City on Oct. 7 and one in Topeka on Oct. 18.

Wacker's parole hearing will happen prior to Dec. 1. He's currently serving a life sentence in the Shoemaker case.

Ahead of the public-comment sessions and the hearing to follow, an organized effort continues to help make sure Wacker actually does spend the remainder of his life in prison.

As part of that effort, a group plans to collect signatures Wednesday night before the Carrie Underwood concert at Intrust Bank Arena.

The signatures go on a petition asking the parole board to deny Wacker's parole. This year's hearing marks Wacker's fifth bid to leave prison.

In December 2017, the Prisoner Review Board denied Wacker's fourth bid at parole due to the serious nature/circumstances of the crime and that Wacker denied responsibility and objections.

Ahead of that last parole hearing almost two years ago, Shoemaker's family and friends of the family argued in part that if Wacker was released, he would have no social skills and they wondered where he would live. The family said the reason they keep fighting isn't just for Nancy.

"If he gets paroled, this could happen to another child, this could happen to another family," said Nancy's stepmom, Julie Shoemaker in March in response to the announcement of the next parole hearing.

The Shoemaker family's pastor, Michael O'Donnell, Sr., spoke Aug. 29 about why he thinks wacker should remain in custody.

"When they review this case every two to three years, I've been there with them as they've recounted the death of their little daughter Nancy so we're asking the community to step up," said O'Donnell.

O'Donnell's son, Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O'Donnell gathered with a group outside Intrust Bank Arena ahead of the Carrie Underwood concert Wednesday wearing matching shirts and collecting the signatures before doors opened for the concert.

O'Donnell says Shoemaker's murder was traumatizing for people across Wichita.

"It literally scarred a generation of Wichita's kids," he says. "That was a piece of your childhood. You just remember the streets of Wichita weren't as safe anymore."

O'Donnell says the crime is "an unfortunate dark history, a dark chapter in Wichita's history."

"But it's something that we all can learn from and it's something that obviously we're hoping won't be forgotten," he says. "We're going to protect the streets of Wichita. We're going to keep the streets safe."