Ex-death row inmate could be free by 2020 in sisters’ deaths

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ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis man who confessed to an infamous double killing at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge could be out of prison by 2020.

Last December, Reginald Clemons confessed to the 1991 murders of 19-year-old Robin Kerry and her 20-year-old sister Julie inside the Carnahan Courthouse downtown and received multiple life sentences.

Clemons was originally convicted and sentenced to death back in 1993.

The Kerry sisters were raped and then thrown to their deaths from the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge in April 1991.

Julie Kerry’s body was found three weeks later; Robin Kerry’s body was never found.

Their cousin who was also with them when the attack happened was robbed and forced to jump from the bridge. But he survived.

Clemons was among four people convicted in the case. But his conviction was overturned in 2015. Prosecutors decided to retry him.

Clemons avoided a possible death sentence by pleading guilty to five charges: two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of rape, and one count of robbery.

Judge Rex Burlison imposed five consecutive life sentences, with each calculated at 30 years.

But a Missouri Department of Corrections spokesperson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Clemons would have his first parole board hearing next June. That’s because the murders occurred before 1994 when the Missouri legislature began imposing mandatory minimum prison terms for violent felonies.

Clemons had already served more than 25 years for the murders.

Because pre-1994 laws were being used, Clemons will be eligible for parole because he has already served more than the minimum 15 years of those sentences.

Clemons’ earliest possible release date is November 9, 2020.

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