Orlando Denied Parole, Next Hearing Set for March, 2016

March 14, 2013
Dwayne Page
Christopher Nicholas Orlando

40 year old Christopher Nicholas Orlando has heard from the Tennessee Board of Parole and the news for him isn't good. He will have to spend at least three more years in prison.

Three members of the board have voted to deny parole for Orlando due to the seriousness of the offense and to reconsider the case in March, 2016.

Orlando is serving a 45 year prison sentence for facilitation of first degree murder in the death of 20 year old Joshua Murphy. Orlando is incarcerated at the Northeast Correctional Complex in Mountain City, Tennessee.

A parole hearing was held for Orlando on Monday, March 4.

Murphy was shot and killed in a secluded area in the Laurel Hill Community at the end of Old Eagle Creek Road on Sunday, September 15, 2002. His body was discovered three days later. Officials said Orlando and a co-defendant, Melvin Turnbill suspected Murphy of stealing methamphetamine. Orlando was tried and convicted of the crime by a DeKalb County Criminal Court Jury in April, 2004.

Turnbill entered a guilty plea to facilitation to first-degree murder in September, 2003 and was given a 25-year sentence, of which he must serve at least 30 percent. Turnbill remains incarcerated at the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex in Pikeville. His parole hearing is set for April, 2014.

While Orlando said he was sorry for the death of Murphy during the parole hearing, he denied being the triggerman in the shooting, blaming Turnbill for actually committing the murder.

The parole board members conducting the hearing, Chairman Charles Traughber and Richard Montgomery found Orlando less than forthcoming about his involvement in the crime.

Gary McKenzie, Deputy District Attorney, speaking on behalf of the victim's family, also insisted that Orlando was not being candid with the board.

Board Members consider factors such as seriousness of the offense, time served, victim input, any programs the offender may have completed or disciplinary actions against the offender while incarcerated, etc..

In making this decision, the Board cited seriousness of the offense as the primary reason for their decision. Voting ends when the required number of matching votes have been cast – either to parole or not to parole. In this case, that was three votes of the seven-member board.

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