Kansas Prisoner Review Board grants parole to man convicted of kidnapping Nancy Shoemaker
The Kansas Prisoner Review Board released details Friday regarding its decision granting parole to Donald E. Wacker on or after November 1, 2020.
Wacker was convicted of felony kidnapping and aiding a felon or person charged as a felon, occurring in July 1990. He was sentenced to a total of 16 years to life and first became eligible for parole consideration in December 1999. Wacker has been denied parole four times, beginning in 1999.
Kansas law stipulates that the Board may release on parole those offenders who have satisfactorily completed the program agreement, required by K.S.A. 75-5210(a), whom the Board believes are able and willing to fulfill the obligations of a law-abiding citizen, and when the Board is of the opinion that there is a reasonable probability that the offender can be released without detriment to the community or to the offender. (K.S.A. 22-3717 (e))
In conjunction with K.S.A. 22-3717(h), the following non-exhaustive factors are considered when determining parole suitability:
· Circumstances of the offense
· Previous criminal record and social history of the inmate
· Programs and program participation
· Conduct, employment, attitude, disciplinary history during incarceration
· Reports of physical/mental examinations, including but not limited to risk factors revealed by any risk assessment
· Comments from public officials, victims or their family, offender family or friends, or any other interested member of the general public
· Capacity of state correctional institutions
· Input from staff where offender is housed
· Proportionality of time served to the sentence that would have been received under the Kansas sentencing guidelines for the conduct that resulted in the inmate's incarceration
· Presentence report
Eyewitness News spoke with Nancy's parents, Bo and Julie Shoemaker last Saturday. They said the news did not come easy.
"When the call comes in and they tell you that parole was granted, it kind of, even though you're expecting it, it kind of hits hard," said Bo.
Wacker had a parole hearing in December that was his fifth parole hearing.
In October we told you about a petition to keep Wacker in jail. It had 15,000 signatures.
While the public is welcome to express their concerns, the Prisoner Review Board says its decision is final and is not subject to statutory authority that would allow the public to appeal the decision.
The Prisoner Review Board will have the opportunity to review Wacker’s upcoming release plans and apply additional conditions while on post-release supervision, as warranted, which would be in addition to the standard conditions that apply to all offenders.
Parole is granted for one of two men convicted in the 1990 death of Nancy Shoemaker. Nancy's father, Bo Shoemaker, confirmed the decision with Eyewitness news.
Donald Wacker has been serving a life sentence in Shoemaker's case. He helped Doil Lane, the man who sexually assaulted and killed the 9-year-old girl, kidnap her.
We're told the Kansas Department of Corrections will release details of the decision next Friday, April 3. Shoemaker says Wacker's release date could come as early as Nov. 1.
Thursday, Shoemaker wrote a message on the public Facebook page dedicated to remembering his daughter.
"By no means is this the end. We will make every effort to fight this and stand tall for Nancy," he writes.
Shoemaker also thanked everyone who's supported the family in their fight to keep Wacker from being paroled.