North Carolina Probes Why Suspected SC Serial Killer Was Freed

Authorities say a North Carolina parole officer should not be blamed for failing to tell jail officers to keep the suspected South Carolina serial killer behind bars.

A Corrections Department spokesman said Tuesday parole officer Angela Merrill saw more than two dozen parolees the day Patrick
Burris was released from a county jail and she had no evidence to
indicate the violent turn his life was about to take.

Corrections spokesman Keith Acree says the agency is looking into what allowed Burris to get out of jail. Authorities say Burris killed five people between June 27 and July 2 in and around the rural South Carolina community of Gaffney.

He was shot to death about a week ago by police investigating a burglary complaint in North Carolina.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by Anonymous on Jul 29, 2009 at 06:18 AM
    The Parole/Post Release system needs revamped. In other states, Parole officers can arrest a parole violator and have him returned to prison before dinner. Here, in NC it is not that way...a warrant if one is issued, can take several days.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 16, 2009 at 02:19 PM
    I know of a crack head in Windsor that is out on probation right now and has SEVERAL pending charges against her to date along with several convictions AFTER her probation! What does it take for the scum of society to actually serve their sentence? This is not the probation officer's fault at all! Maybe the state should look in their own backyard before worrying about her.
  • by Wanda Location: Kenansville on Jul 15, 2009 at 06:37 AM
    Not to mention, the prison system gives the offenders an "easy ride" in duirng time. Leave the PPO alone. People who among you think that an offender who is serving time is actually being helped. The joke is on YOU!
  • by Tim Location: Washington, NC on Jul 15, 2009 at 04:03 AM
    A parole officer DOES NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY to keep a parolee in jail! This decision is made by A Parole Hearing Officer or The Parole Commission which is nothing but a bunch of political hacks. A parole officer has to make a recommendation for a parole warrant by listing all the violations on the proper paperwork, pass it up "the chain of command," then wait days or weeks for the warrant to be issued. Many times The Parole Commission will refuse to issue a warrant but will issue " a letter of reprimand" instructing the parolee to behave. I am not making this stuff up, I know first hand what a flunky system The State of NC is running. Here is the bottom line. The NC DOC # 1 mission is saving money! Public safety a distant second. The general public should also be aware that current policy forbids an officer from making a statement to the press. This must be done through "upper management."
  • by DC Location: Kinston on Jul 14, 2009 at 04:23 PM
    North Carolina needs a system that holds arrested parolees when brought into a county jail rather than allow that person to make bond and be released to go do whatever.
  • by Ray Location: Farmville on Jul 14, 2009 at 04:16 PM
    No need of spending money trying to find out why people such as this are allowed free--simple--money, That's how the lawyers and judges make their living. Everytime someone goes to court they get paid
  • by Ted Location: Greenville on Jul 14, 2009 at 03:32 PM
    I don't think questions should be asked of his Parole Officer but rather the Parole Commission who approved his Post Release. You do not become a serial killer overnight, surely there were some signs present maybe even voiced by some that this inmate was not a good candidate for Post Release.
  • by MrT Location: LaNC on Jul 14, 2009 at 02:17 PM
    We don't have to worry about him getting out no more, now do we?
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