Parole denied for man convicted of murdering woman in 1994

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - Family and friends of Erica DeGuzman asked the South Carolina Parole Board on Wednesday to deny parole for her killer.

The board denied 37-year-old Edsel McNeill III's fifth bid for parole. The bid was rejected unanimously because of the seriousness of the crime and the fact that it was a violent crime.

DeGuzman was 17 and three weeks away from graduating high school at the time of her death in 1994. McNeill is serving a 60 year sentence voluntary manslaughter and criminal sexual conduct first degree in connection with DeGuzman's death.

"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," said DeGuzman's brother, Tony DeGuzman

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. He is scheduled to be released from prison in the year 2028.

"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 Erica's friend Tina Christmas. "We will fight every time, we will stand and speak for Erica."

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