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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Just Saying Location: RMNC on Nov 22, 2009 at 11:34 PM
    anon: I have engaged you in many a debate on the fact YOU say that you are an atheist. I am glad that you have changed your mind. Good for you.
  • by Chris Location: greenville on Nov 20, 2009 at 11:14 PM
    What part of "life in prison" is there controversy or confusion. That means you leave prison in a casket,NOT 80 years.
  • by ellen Location: greenville on Nov 20, 2009 at 07:40 AM
    Who is the young lady she talks about running her mouth? Kind of confused on that little bit.....
  • by Me Location: G-Ville on Nov 20, 2009 at 07:35 AM
    To "Mike on Nov 19, 2009 at 07:21 PM" I understand your point on this post. However, what you are forgetting is that these particular inmates continued to commit crimes in prison. Steven Wilson has been convicted multiple times for committing rape in prison and is current awaiting trail for a recent charge of rape in prison. How is this good behavior? It is not!! If they commit a crime in prison, all the little credits should be taken away from them! They should have to start over. If you make them accountable for the crimes they commit in prison, then they will be rehabilitated when they are released.
  • by Bob Location: Belhaven on Nov 20, 2009 at 06:36 AM
    I hate to believe this, but I think the Bev move was just political. The courts will decide if these vicious felons get out. If they do let them out then old Bev can say well I tried but it is out of my hands. I hope I'm wrong because these animals should never be released. To Miss Yearwood, I commend you for comning forward and telling your side of the story. We all to often do not think of the victims and the long term impact it has on their lives. You deserve a long, happy life without the fear of retaliation from this thug and you have done a great service to other women who have had to endure the suffering these thugs cause. I suggest you go and get your concealed weapon permit and then if this or any other thug tries to do you harm, you can blow their a&& away!
  • by anon Location: wallace on Nov 20, 2009 at 05:25 AM
    TO JUST SAYING, always has been. he still sits and rules on the throne. we sometimes don't understand why things end up the way they do. just remember that one day everyone will bow down and confess and be called out in front of Him. i only want to answer for good things and be forgiven for my sins and i do not want to burn in a lake of fire as the Bible tells us will happen.if people do not believe there is one GOD and do not believe there is a heaven or hell, all i got to say is i hope for their sake they are right. remember this. JESUS ask his Father to forgive them when he was dying on the cross after for they know not what they do. GOD bless you always.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 20, 2009 at 02:50 AM
    Mike: I've got an idea. Why don't you see if you can get a few released and come live with you? And if you think the hardened crimals are better when they come out, you are a criminal.
  • by Just Saying Location: RMNC on Nov 20, 2009 at 02:48 AM
    ANON: God bless you always? Thought there was no God?
  • by Rick Location: Washington on Nov 19, 2009 at 08:56 PM
    I believe the judges and juries gave them life, then administrative bureaucrats created the time off stuff. Good behavior must be the norm, with any misbehaviors ADDED to the sentence. Hope our Governor has the courage and skill to do everyting possible to ensure they die in custody, or get the needle now and save lots of tax money to help good struggling families.
  • by anon Location: wallace on Nov 19, 2009 at 07:14 PM
    a victory for you my friend, i know it still hurts you , but he no longer can, God bless you always.
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