63 year Gerald Wayne (J.B.) Bounds of McMinnville, who has spent nearly 30 years in prison for the fatal shooting of a DeKalb County man in 1981, is scheduled to have another parole hearing Thursday, October 21st at the Southeast Regional Correctional Facility in Pikeville where he is incarcerated.
Bounds is serving a life sentence for the first degree premeditated killing of 27 year old Sherman Wright, who was shot once in the head just outside the Odyssey Arcade on West Broad Street, across from the Dairy Queen. The incident occurred on the afternoon of February 2nd, 1981, allegedly over a gambling debt. The game room no longer exists. The building now serves as the location for the Discount Tobacco Outlet.
Bounds has been before members of the Tennessee Board of Pardons and Parole twice in recent years trying to gain an early release, but so far to no avail. Members of the Wright family and state prosecutors have always opposed it and plan to oppose it again this time.
Melissa McDonald, Communications Director for the Tennessee Board of Probation & Parole, said this will be the third parole review hearing for Bounds. He first became eligible for parole in 2002 (Initial parole eligibility is determined by the statute under which the offender was convicted) and was declined for seriousness of the offense. The Board reviewed his case again in 2005, and again denied him for seriousness of the offense.
A Board Member will hear this case Thursday, and at the end, he or she will cast a vote---either to parole or deny parole. After the hearing, the file will go to the other six Board Members, who will review the case and cast their votes. McDonald said " The voting continues until we reach four concurring votes (either to parole or to deny parole), which is what the law requires for a decision on this offense."
The factors Board Members consider in making parole decisions include the seriousness of the offense, the amount of time served, support and/or opposition to the parole, victim impact, any disciplinary issues the offender might have had while incarcerated, any programs the offender might have completed while incarcerated, etc.
If the offender is denied parole, the Board will set a date when they will consider the case again. They can set that time for anywhere from one to six years.
It generally takes 2-3 weeks to get a final decision in any case.