Family fighting parole bid of convicted killer

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Family and friends of Erica DeGuzman will ask the South Carolina Parole Board Wednesday to deny parole for her killer.

DeGuzman was 17 and three weeks away from graduating high school at the time of her death in 1994.

Edsel McNeill III, now 37 years old is serving a 60 year sentence voluntary manslaughter and criminal sexual conduct first degree in connection with DeGuzman's death.

"I remember the coroner coming up to me with her license, handed it to me and asked me if that was my sister and I said yes," said DeGuzman's brother, Tony DeGuzman.

"She was raped, beaten and ran over and left in a three foot puddle, mud and water to die. The coroner said she suffocated probably for five minutes."

Tony DeGuzman and two of Erica's friends visited her grave Tuesday morning. They always go there the day before the parole hearing.

McNeill is eligible for parole every two years.

"It's not fair he gets a chance to even see daylight because she can't see daylight anymore," said Erica's friend Tina Christmas.

"She doesn't get to see our kids. Our kids will never be able to grow up with hers," said friend Monique Scarlett.

Even if he is denied parole, McNeill is scheduled to be released from prison in the year 2028.

That won't stop Erica DeGuzman's family and friends from fighting to keep him in prison until then.

"We just can't forgive and forget when we have to do this every two years, there's no way because the memories are so vivid," said Christmas. "We will fight every time, we will stand and speak for Erica."

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