WKYT Investigates: Murder victim's family and a state parole error

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - "I don't have a lot of family, but the family I do have is small, it's mine." Amanda Jones' sister, Kimberly Sipes, was murdered in 1998. Her body was found by a tugboat operator on the banks of the Licking River. Sipes' mother was left to raise her eight year old son, Tyrone and infant daughter, Jaslin. The killer was her ex-boyfriend and Jaslin's father, Reggie Graves.

"I testified against him," Jones said. "I never liked him. We never got along. I knew what he did to my sister. I knew he was abusing her and I didn't like it."

Graves was sentenced to 50 years in prison for killing Sipes. He was a persistent felony offender and had been put in prison twice before the murder on assault charges. But days ago, Graves was granted parole after serving 16 years. Sipes' family had no idea. "Everything just dropped. For a minute I was paralyzed. All I could think about was how am I going to tell my mother," Jones said.

Jones found out about the parole through Facebook, not the parole board. The family was not told about the hearing even though they are supposed to get the chance to tell the board their thoughts and feelings. The reason, according to the parole board spokesperson, was human error. "In 2007, the hard copy files were transferred to electronic files and somehow in the midst of that, our information was not transferred," Jones explained.

"My fear is that he would come after me or my kids to retaliate against me or Jaslin, because she looks like him. That's my fear," Jones said.

Tyrone is now his country in Afghanistan. Jaslin is now a teenager.

Jones was told by the state that it was too late to fix the mistake. However, days later, the board decided to call a meeting to vote whether to have a new parole hearing. Just this afternoon, they found out they'll get their say. "If the outcome is still the same, at least we can say we had our say."

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