Thursday, July 27, 2000
Pharmacist's killer denied parole
Family fights to keep him in prison
By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer
The man who killed Daniel Von Hoene 19 years ago in a drug store parking lot has been denied parole and will not be eligible for another parole hearing until July 2010.
A panel of the Ohio Parole Board recommended that Samuel Ellis McCree, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1981, be kept there, a decision that has pleased both Mr. Von Hoene's family and Mike Allen, Hamilton County prosecutor.
Mr. Von Hoene, a pharmacist at Walgreen's in the West End, was robbed and shot and died on March 21, 1981, leaving a wife and 11 children, ages 5 to 23.
Mr. McCree was arrested within two days of the shooting and charged with aggravated murder and aggravated robbery. He was convicted in June 1981.
We're obviously very happy about it, said Mr. Allen, who had written a letter to the parole board opposing the release and also singled out Mr. McCree at a press conference in February as being the kind of in mate who didn't deserve parole.
It's one we took special interest in, particularly because of the interest of the family. This is an individual who should have been tried under a death penalty statute if one would have been in effect at the time. He's an individual who ought to die in prison.
The pending parole hearing for Mr. McCree mobilized the Von Hoene family, many of whom still live in the Cincinnati area. They wrote letters, told friends and other family members of the hearing, which resulted in 3,677 letters opposing the release being sent to the parole board.
Kathleen Burgener, a daughter who was 19 at the time and is now an assistant attorney general for the state of Florida, said the family will never relent and be even more vocal when Mr. McCree is next eligible for parole in 10 years.
By then there will probably be a lot more grandkids (to fight parole), said Ms. Burgener. As my Uncle Frank (Von Hoene, a brother of Daniel's) said, "We're never going away.' In 10 years (McCree) will be 58 and he'll still have enough strength to pull a trigger. And I'll be the same age (48) as my father the night that he was killed.
Just as my father fought for his life that night, I will fight just as hard to keep the guy in prison.
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