by: Greg Suskin Updated:COLUMBIA, S.C. —
A man who was convicted of the rape and murder of a Rock Hill woman is now trying to get out of prison.
Ed Cronell made his first plea for freedom Wednesday morning in Columbia, after the brutal killing of Melinda Snyder 24 years ago.
Snyder’s parents -- who were in Columbia for Cronell’s parole hearing -- told Channel 9 that the pain never goes away, more than two decades after their daughter was raped and murdered in Rock Hill.
In 1990, when Snyder had just graduated from college, Cronell, who was a Realtor who had shown the home she was living in just days before, got the key from the lock box, raped her and shot her in her bed in the middle of the night.
Back when Cronell was sentenced to multiple life sentences, ‘life’ didn't necessarily mean life in prison.
That's why Cronell is eligible for parole now, 20 years later.
The parole board quickly denied his parole Wednesday morning.
"Life sentence should mean life in jail, end of story. So we were very happy with the outcome," said Melinda’s father, Jerry Snyder.
The Snyders drove down from Ohio for Wednesday’s hearing, and unfortunately this is the beginning of a long process for them. Now that Cronell is parole eligible he will have a hearing every two years.
The Snyders told Channel 9 that they'll be fighting this for the rest of their lives.
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