An Akron man who admitted to brutally murdering his girlfriend 15 years ago is up for parole.
Tony Rahmel Smith was given a 15-to-life sentence for the 1998 death of Lilius Landrum, whose body was found decapitated in the basement of the duplex they shared, and her head discovered in a bucket.
Landrum's niece, Kamelah Hartwell, has written to the parole board dozens of times, and started an online petition opposing Smith's release.
"He doesn't deserve to see the light of day because my aunt can't see the light of day, so why should he be able to roam free to hurt somebody else or do this to somebody else's loved one?" Hartwell said.
Hartwell, said the online petition, with over 3-thousand signatures, has had a worldwide response. "...The UK, Spain, France, Africa, Canada, just all over the world people have been responding to it, and they've been outraged".
Summit County Prosecutor Sheri Bevan Walsh has also written the parole board to protest any possible leniency on Smith's sentence.
Walsh says, "He brutally killed his girlfriend, and then he beheaded her. So clearly he's not a candidate to get out of prison, and I view him as a danger to our community"
If the board grants him an early release, the prosecutor's office does have an opportunity to request a full hearing to state their case against it.
The first attempt is also not before the entire board, with only a couple of representatives hearing the first appeal for early release. Walsh says it's done by video-conference, and at least six members will weigh in and make a recommendation.
This week is Smith's first shot at parole.