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Parole denied: McNeill stays behind bars at least 2 more years - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Parole denied: McNeill stays behind bars at least 2 more years

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By Harve Jacobs  bio | email

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Edsel McNeill, convicted of raping and killing Erica Deguzman 15 years ago in North Charleston, will spend at least two more years behind bars. McNeill was denied parole Wednesday.

Tony Deguzman, the victim's brother, was not surprised by the board's decision.

36-year-old McNeill is serving a 60 year sentence for voluntary manslaughter and sexual assault in the death of 18-year-old Erica Deguzman. He was convicted of the crimes in 1995.

Authorities say McNeill ran down Ms. Deguzman with his truck on a Dorchester County road and left her to die face down in the mud. "I  just don't understand why some human could do that to anyone," Tony Deguzman said.

Her body was found on Mother's Day.

McNeill was friends with Erica's boyfriend, but to this day no reason has been given for the murder. Edsel McNeill will be eligible for parole again in 2011.

Victim's family, friend turn to Internet for parole board fight

The day before her killer comes up for parole, Tony Deguzman and Monique Scarlett visit Erica Deguzman's grave to let her know they will fight to keep him behind bars. "Didn't think it was real, couldn't believe it," said Scarlett who was Erica's best friend.

Scarlett found out about Erica's death after she had invited her to go to Myrtle Beach for the weekend. "I would just feel like if we had pressed a little harder to go with us she would be here today," she said.

Tony Deguzman says his sister's boyfriend was friends with McNeill, but to this day he doesn't know why McNeill killed her. "You know, it still kills me," he said.

Deguzman is determined to keep McNeill in prison, so he put up a page on "Facebook" to ask people to contact the parole board, knowing McNeill will be freed in 2028, even if he never gets parole. "He gets to wakeup every day and breathe, she doesn't. Every day he'll be able to get out and do what he's got to do," an angry Deguzman said.

"I can't believe the family and her friends of Erica have to go every two years to fight for somebody like that to stay where he belongs," said Scarlett. 

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