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First Of Two Parole Hearings Friday In Tyra Patterson Murder Case

Tyra Patterson in an undated family photo.
Justice For Tyra Patterson Facebook page

A Dayton woman seeking clemency in a 1994 murder conviction is up for parole. Tyra Patterson’s attorney says she was scheduled to appear before the Ohio Parole Board Friday.

If parole board officials find Patterson eligible for parole, the board could schedule another final release hearing for sometime this fall.

Patterson’s attorney, David Singleton, says it will take weeks before the board issues its determination on whether to move forward with a final release hearing.

Singleton says Friday's parole hearing was originally scheduled for next year. Patterson's supporters petitioned the state for an earlier hearing to consider her release.

Patterson has maintained her innocence since the killing of 15-year-old Michelle Lai, who was fatally shot during a dispute between two groups of teenagers.

Patterson was not the shooter in the case. She confessed to robbery. And that opened the door to a murder charge. Patterson has said her confession was coerced.

Under Ohio law, accomplices to murder can receive the same punishment as those convicted in a killing.

Patterson was convicted in 1995 of aggravated murder and robbery, and sentenced to life in prison.

Her attorney filed a bid for clemency in 2013, citing new evidence. That petition is still pending.

Patterson’s case has received international attention. Her story was featured in WYSO’s 2016 series Women’s Voices from Dayton Correctional Institution.