JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Convicted murderer David Lasley will be home for Christmas.
According to Vine Services, the Arkansas Department of Correction released Lasley on Monday, Dec. 19.
A jury sentenced him to 40 years in prison earlier this month for the 1979 murder of Wanda Turnbow.
Lasley was 17 years old at the time of the murder.
He was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 1980. But, following a U.S. Supreme Court decision that mandatory life sentences for juveniles was unconstitutional, a re-sentencing trial was held the first week of December in Crittenden County.
After hearing testimony from Lasley, as well as his other victim, the jury re-sentenced him to 40 years in prison. Because he had already served 37 years, Lasley became eligible for parole.
Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington said today that Lasley was hoping for a shorter sentence.
"The jury was more merciful to Mr. Lasley than he was to Mrs. Turnbow, but you know that the way it is," said Ellington. " He was hoping for the jury to come back with something less than 36 years, which means he could just leave the courthouse and be a free man, but instead they came back with 40 years, so he had to go back to the penitentiary and spend a couple more weeks going through the process."
Ellington spoke with the Turnbow family who said they had accepted Lasley's release.
Lasley reportedly told the jury he planned to move to Texas to be with his family and to find work.
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