SUSSEX COUNTY, Del. - A family's fight to keep their loved one's killer behind bars has come to an end. It's a stunner out of Sussex County 29 years in the making.
Ransford Bryan, a murderer, was granted parole, and the shockwaves are being felt by those closest to the case.
Dougie Brockway was 18 when he was killed. His life ended on the night of October 15, 1987. It’s a night his mother, and his family will never forget.
”Your children are a part of you and if you lose one, you feel like you've lost a big part of you,” said Peggy Brockway, Dougie’s mother.
On Thursday, a board of five, announced that they will give Ransford Bryan a second chance.
”I think I knew eventually but I guess I was kind of hoping that it would be years from now when he would be too old to do anything to somebody else,” said Peggy.
For Peggy and her family the decision is devastating.
”Well I have to say he's fallen in bigger hands than the parole board now,” said Peggy. “He's falling into God’s hands so he will have to answer to a bigger power.”
Years spent fighting, losing sleep, sweat and tears ended with the news that the man they fought to keep behind bars will be transferred to work release.
”I learned that if you have lots of money and influence, you can get whatever you want,” said Peggy.
She also says she’s lost her faith in the system. Brockway says the board seemed to focus on the fact that Bryan was just 18 when he committed the crime. But two of Bryan's former attorneys say it was more about the time he served and the charge that he plead too.
John Sandy who represented Bryan back in the 80's told 47 ABC quote, "There was always a great likelihood that this day would come. I feel for everyone involved, especially the family of Dougie Brockway, but I want to point out that that's what the law was at the time. Ransford Bryan has served 2 1/2 times more time than many others in the same situation."
”I’d say we fought a good fight. We've done the best we can,” said Peggy. “I can almost hear him say you did all you could mom."
The Brockway's say they have forgiven Bryan but they don't believe he's a changed man and Peggy had a message for him.
“I would say that you are acting out exactly what they taught you to do and lying and deceiving them just like you did the state police, the court system, and the family that tried to help you,” said Peggy.
The Brockway's also thanked the community for their love and support over the past three decades. They say they had more signatures on their petition this year than ever before. As for Bryan he did attempt to contact the family 15 years ago, but the family did not respond.
State Officials say that Bryan will face Level III Supervision once he is transferred to work release.