Shortly before his 42nd birthday, a Charlotte killer serving a sentence of life in prison plus three years learned he has been granted parole by the state.
Anthony L. Hemphill, who was convicted in May 1993 of killing his cousin, was approved for release by the state Post-Release Supervision and Parole Board. The four-member board, which does not publicly disclose how its members voted, announced its decision on Wednesday.
Hemphill is set to be released Jan. 10. By that point, he will have been incarcerated for a little over 24 years.
He was 17 when he was charged in November 1992 with the murder of his cousin, also named Anthony Hemphill, 20. The older Hemphill was shot numerous times in the front yard of a Harrison Street house in Charlotte following an argument, according to an Observer report at the time.
Anthony L. Hemphill pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and discharging a weapon into an occupied property.
While in prison, he entered the Mutual Agreement Parole Program, the parole board said. The program is tailored for individual inmates who agree to meet certain milestones to merit parole consideration, such as earning their way to work release programs and remaining infraction free, board spokesman Keith Acree said.
Hemphill has had 32 infractions over the years but none since 2007, state records show.
He is being held in the Lanesboro state prison in Polkton.
Under current North Carolina 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 October, North Carolina had 1,736 lifers who are eligible for parole consideration and another 1,429 serving life sentences without parole.