In 1988, California man William Bradford killed his ex-wife—shooting her five times, the Daily Breeze reports. Thirteen years later, he was arrested, charged, and sentenced to 26 years to life in prison after the cold case was reopened, according to the Los Angeles Times. And on Tuesday, Bradford was granted parole despite the strenuous objections of his own daughter and the man who prosecuted him. “I have spent a lifetime living with the knowledge and grief that goes along with losing my mom to murder at the hands of someone that I used to call dad," 50-year-old Shaun Rickerl tells the Breeze. "The safety of everyone connected to the trial should take precedence over the release of a man convicted of murder.”
Rickerl isn't the only one afraid for her safety. John Lewin, deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County, says Bradford had only been in prison a few months when Lewin heard from a cellmate that Bradford was threatening to kill Lewin, his wife, and his children. "This is the one guy that scares me," Lewin tells the Times. "How dare you play Russian roulette with my family." But Bradford's lawyer, Maya Emig, says her 84-year-old client is too old and sick—suffering from dementia and more—to hurt anyone. She says he doesn't remember who prosecuted him and fell asleep during the hearing. "He can't put two and two together," Emig says. "He doesn't have the resources to go out and hire a hit man." State commissioners agreed, ruling Bradford isn't a danger to the public. The earliest Bradford could be released is 2019. His parole could still be overturned by the governor.