Rape Victim Reacts To State Ruling On Inmate Release

A Lenoir County woman said she shouted when she heard the news that the man who kidnapped and raped her 32 years ago was not going to get out of prison.

"I'm not a super religious person but I shouted, I don't think this was ever going to end," Tanya Yearwood told WITN on Thursday.

Steven Wilson was one of 31 inmates who was supposed to go free last month. But Governor Beverly Perdue says the state will not give those inmates good time credits, meaning they will have to serve all of their 80 year sentence.

WITN does not normally identify or show rape victims, but Yearwood wanted her story told in the public eye.

The woman was 9 years old when Wilson tricked her into following him. He raped her at the Mitchell Wooten Court housing complex in Kinston. Now she tries not to think about that day anymore. "Just because something bad happened to you doesn't mean you have to live through that nightmare."

But that nightmare came back to haunt Yearwood when she found out that Wilson and thirty other convicts would be released early because of a loophole in a state law.

Yearwood told us she could not stop worrying what Wilson might do to her if he got out of prison. "I spent 30 years in prison, who am I mad at? I'm mad at the young lady who ran her mouth and told, the DA, police, judges. So many people who could have been in danger," the woman said.

To celebrate, Yearwood says she going on vacation with her boyfriend, and hopefully close this latest chapter in her life.

Governor Beverly Perdue says the state has recalculated the release dates of 31 inmate given life sentences who were about to be released because of a recent court ruling.

Now Perdue says the earliest one of those inmates could get out of prison is 2054.

The inmates were set to go free October 29th because of the court ruling on how a life sentence was defined.

Perdue says those prisoners between 1974 and 1978 who received life sentences must now actually serve the full 80 years in prison, with no good time credits to shorten their time behind bars.

Five of those inmates were convicted from Eastern Carolina.

Joseph Seaborn & Faye Brown were convicted of the first degree murder of Highway Patrol Trooper Guy Davis in Williamston. Victor Foust was convicted of the murder of Dennis Mayo during a robbery in Wilson County.
Alford Jones was convicted of killing William Turner, Sr. in Kinston in 1975. Steven Wilson was convicted of kidnapping and raping a 9-year-old girl in Kinston in 1977.

Tommy Davis, who's father was killed by two of the inmates, was glad of the state's decision. "I'm satisfied that the state is trying to do something, but I'm sure this will end up in the courts," Davis told WITN News.

The governor had blocked the inmates earlier release and says she continues to pursue all legal means to prevent that from happening.

Governor Beverly Perdue has ordered the state to prohibit the scheduled release of 20 inmates from state prisons Thursday. However, the state says seven more qualify for release, based on the good conduct credits applied to the other 20 inmates.

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