An Evans man convicted of murdering his best friend nearly 16 years ago has been denied parole, the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles announced Tuesday.
Larry Herschel Hayes, 50, was convicted of murder in Columbia County Superior Court in July 1991 and sentenced to life in prison for the Sept. 12, 1990, shooting death of Alvin McCladdie Sr., 36, of Evans.
Hayes was later convicted of aggravated assault in Richmond County for an incident that occurred later on the night of the murder, when authorities say he stabbed his former employer Elaine Rutti, of Augusta.
Authorities said Hayes gave McCladdie a ride from his home and then shot him in the chest with a .25-caliber rifle, dumping McCladdie's body in an old cemetery off Clanton Road in Appling. The body was discovered early the next morning by a Columbia County medical examiner and his wife as they were traveling to work.
Later that night, Hayes went to Rutti's home and stabbed her in the stomach, authorities say.
He was apprehended at his home the next day.
In a Tuesday release, the parole board announced that on April 21, it had denied parole to Hayes, citing the severity of the crime.
Allerick McCladdie, of Martinez, one of Alvin McCladdie's three sons, said that although he is glad Hayes will remain behind bars, his family was not informed of Hayes' parole hearing.
"They (the parole board) said they were supposed to keep in contact with us every time he come up for parole," McCladdie said Wednesday. "They're supposed to give us a call. They didn't call, no letters in the mail, nothing."
Scheree Lipscomb, a parole board spokeswoman, said several letters were sent to the victims' families notifying them of the parole hearing's outcome, adding that notification before a hearing doesn't take place unless the board is leaning toward granting parole.
McCladdie said Hayes and his father were best friends and played high school football together.
"I know the night (of the murder, Hayes) came to our house and my grandmother fixed him a plate of fish and hush puppies," McCladdie said. "(Hayes) said 'Put it in the oven, I'll come back and get it.'"
Augusta Judicial Circuit District Attorney Danny Craig said the parole board seldom grants parole in a case of life imprisonment after just 16 years served, adding that a new law requires those sentenced to life to serve 30 years before they can be considered for parole.
"I can only speculate as to any particular case, but my educated guess would be that the board will not give serious consideration to paroling inmate Hayes until he has served at least 25 years,'' said Craig, who became a prosecutor in 1993 and did not handle the case.
Hayes is scheduled for his next parole hearing in January 2014.
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