A Concord killer serving life in prison for a 1993 slaying has been granted parole.
The state Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission approved the release for Reginald Leach, 46, and set the release date for Aug. 10, 2019. He will have served more than 26 years in prison by then.
The four-person board does not publicly disclose how its members voted.
Leach had entered the Mutual Agreement Parole Program, according to the parole board. That program is tailored for inmates who agree to meet certain milestones to merit parole consideration, such as earning their way to work release programs and remaining infraction free.
Leach had a dozen infractions between 1995 and 2002, and none since then.
He was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of John Thomas Ford. The Concord man was shot in the back of the head then dumped by the side of a road in March 1993, an Observer story at the time stated.
Ford and Leach may have been in the drug business together and had been driving to Charlotte to pick up some drugs before the shooting happened, the story quoted the sheriff as saying..
Leach is being held in the Lanesboro state prison in Polkton.
Under the state sentencing law, there is no possibility of parole for crimes committed on or after Oct. 1, 1994. But the commission has to consider parole for offenders sentenced under previous guidelines.
Through January, North Carolina had 1,729 lifers who are eligible for parole consideration and 1,433 serving life sentences without parole.