It’s not a secret that life in prison is hard and hard to deal with. There are many rules to follow, and if you break one, you could get in big trouble.
Even the most hardened criminals can be changed by their time in prison.
The show “Kids Behind Bars: Life or Parole” on A&E is about people who did bad things as kids and were given life sentences.
But now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that juveniles can no longer be sentenced to life without parole, the series shows how the prisoners try to get a new sentence.
Let’s see where everyone is now, shall we?
Bobby Gonzales was only 15 years old when he was found guilty of killing the mother of his girlfriend. Krissi, Bobby’s girlfriend, told him that she thought her parents were hurting her (which later turned out to be a lie).
So, Bobby decided to take matters into his own hands. On March 7, 1992, he went to the house of his girlfriend in Texas and killed her mother with a gun.
Vernon Caldwell, Krissi’s dad, was badly hurt but managed to get away with his life.
When Bobby was caught, he was tried as an adult and given a life sentence in prison.
Surprisingly, Vernon and Bobby are now friends, and Vernon has forgiven Bobby for the bad things he did.
Vernon also became Bobby’s advisor, and he has said that he wishes he hadn’t been so hard on him as a child.
Bobby is still in jail at the Alfred D. Hughes Unit in Texas, and he won’t be able to get out until 2027.
James Wiley did something terrible when he was only 15 years old. Records show that James killed in cold blood his stepmother and three stepbrothers.
On November 24, 1990, James Wiley went to his stepmother’s house in Thermopolis, Wyoming, with a shotgun and killed his stepmother and two brothers.
James caught up to the third brother as he tried to get away from the chaos. Then he brought his younger brother inside and killed him with the shotgun.
Even the toughest police detectives were shocked by how brutal the crime was.
James was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison.
James Wiley is still in prison at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington. His request to have his life sentence changed was denied, so he is still there.
Curtis Brooks’s childhood was hard, and he was homeless for a long time. He was hanging out at the Aurora Mall in Colorado when Roosevelt “Deon” Harris, who he knew, asked him to help him steal a car.
Harris had already let Curtis sleep at his house, so the teen didn’t think too much about it.
The carjacking went very wrong, and Harris ended up killing the person he was trying to steal from. Curtis, on the other hand, was charged with murder in the first degree.
Even though he was accused of not killing the victim, a jury found him guilty and gave him a life sentence without parole in 1997.
After the Supreme Court ruled against giving juveniles life sentences without the chance to get out, Brooks was given a new sentence, and in December 2018, then-Governor John Hickenlooper gave him clemency.
Curtis went back to Maryland after he was released from prison. He wanted to work for the Prince George’s County Education Coalition.
Even State Senator Joanne C. Benson, who works to help people, was someone he wanted to help. Curtis lives in Largo, Maryland, and he and Kaitlin Brooks got married in August 2021.
The couple seems to be happy together, and Curtis is making up for what he missed while he was in jail. Curtis seems to have turned his life around for the better, and he is optimistic about the future.
Lacy Aaron Schmidt
Lacy Aaron Schmidt killed his ex-girlfriend Alana Calahan in Columbia County, Georgia, when he was only 14 years old.
Court records show that their relationship was getting worse, so Aaron had already planned Alana’s murder before she was killed. Some sources say that the gun used to kill the man was stolen from the man’s father.
On January 31, 2011, Aaron walked up to the victim while she was using her phone and shot her from behind. Even trying to hide the body in the woods wasn’t enough for the teen.
Once Aaron was caught, he was found guilty of several crimes.
These included felony murder while committing an aggravated assault, theft by taking a handgun, having a gun while committing the crime, and murder with malice.
He got life in prison without the chance to get out because he was found guilty.
He also got an extra ten years for having a gun, and five more years for stealing.
Aaron’s request for a new trial was denied, and he is now serving life in prison without the chance of parole at the Hays State Prison in Trion, Georgia.
Ronald Bell was 17 years old when he and two other teens were found guilty of kidnapping, torturing, and killing a man in Florida in 1999.
At first, they were sentenced to death. But Ronald was saved from death row when it became against the law to put kids to death.
After being found guilty of first-degree murder and kidnapping, Ronald was sentenced to life in prison.
Once the Supreme Court made a rule that said juveniles couldn’t be put in prison for life without parole, he tried to get his sentence changed and even won.
But at the next trial, Ronald got the same sentence and was sent back to jail.
Ronald Bell is in jail at the Taylor Correctional Institution in Taylor County, Florida, at the moment.
Timothy Preston Chavers
Timothy Preston Chavers was only 17 years old when he and two other teens made a plan to rob another teen while pretending to buy drugs.
The person was tricked into going to Florida’s Fort Walton Beach, where the group tried to rob him.
But things got out of hand, and Preston killed the victim by shooting him.
Once he was caught, he was found guilty of first-degree murder and given a life sentence without the chance of parole.
Preston was given a second chance at his sentence after he appealed it, but in August 2018, the court gave him a life sentence again.
But the judge said that his sentence could be looked at again in 25 years.
Preston is still in jail in Tallahassee, Florida, at the Wakulla Correctional Institution.
Brandon Moore was only 16 years old when he and three other teens in Youngstown, Ohio, tried to rob a college student who was 21 years old.
Even though they planned to rob the victim at first, the crime turned into an attack and a brutal rape.
Brandon was found guilty of several crimes once he was caught. These included kidnapping, rape, aggravated robbery, and complicity rape.
He was then given a total prison sentence of 141 years.
Since then, Brandon’s sentence has changed more than once. After a few changes, his third sentence put him in jail for a total of 112 years.
Brandon filed an appeal against this decision. In 2018, his sentence was reduced to 50 years, and the judge let him ask for judicial release after 47 years.
He has since dropped his pending petitions because Brandon is now eligible for parole because of a law that was passed on January 9, 2021.
But he hasn’t been given parole yet, so he’s still locked up at the Marion Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio.
When Otis Daniels was 16, he was linked to a murder and a theft in Georgia.
Sources say that Otis was the person who broke into a house and shot the woman who lived there and her daughter.
After the older woman died from her wounds, the investigation became a murder case, and Otis was arrested.
At his trial in 1998, Otis was found guilty of many charges and given a sentence of life in prison without the chance to get out.
Once the Supreme Court stopped giving life sentences without parole to young people, Otis asked to be resentenced, but he was sent back to prison for the rest of his life.
He is in prison at the Ware State Prison in Ware County, Georgia, right now.