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Man Convicted In Stringbean Akeman Murder Has Parole Hearing

Man Convicted In Stringbean Akeman Murder Has Parole Hearing

CREATED Apr 24, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The man sentenced to 198 years in prison for the 1973 killing of country comic David "Stringbean" Akeman and his wife, Estelle, has asked for parole.

On Wednesday morning, John Brown went before the Tennessee Board of Parole by way of closed-circuit television to ask for his release, claiming he has been "reformed" through his more than 40 years in prison. 

Brown told the board he knows he can never make up for the horrible crime he committed.

"I don't have any right to ask for forgiveness. It's unforgivable," he said.

Opry member Jan Howard was there to speak against his release, and there were also letters read from those opposed.

So far, two of seven board members voted differently. One voted to deny parole and hear his case again in three years, while the other voted to continue the hearing until November so a psychological examination could be done on Brown. That is typically a step taken before a prisoner is released.

The other five members will cast their votes in the next one to two weeks, and voting will stop once there have been four concurring votes. 

The Board of Parole denied his last request in 2011, with then-Chairman Charles Traughber saying that the couple's killing was one of the most serious crimes there can be and noted that more than 450 people wrote to the board to oppose his release.

The Akemans were fatally shot as they returned to their home in Ridgetop following a performance of the Grand Ole Opry. Stringbean also performed on the TV program "Hee Haw."

Country music entertainer Louis "Grandpa" Jones found the bodies the morning after the Akemans were killed.

Brown's cousin, Doug, was also convicted in the murders, but died in prison in 2003.

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(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)