George Hiotis

Shafer Denied Parole

by George Hiotis on February 12, 2010 at 4:28 am

A Zanesville man convicted in the murder of a 5-year-old area girl will stay in prison.

Whiz News has learned that Billy Joe Shafer has been denied parole in the aggravated murder of Sara West. The Ohio Parole Board held a hearing for Shafer Thursday.

Board Spokeswoman JoEllen Smith says Shafer was denied parole and will have to wait until 2020 to have another hearing.

Smith says the decision was actually a recommendation and won’t be final for a couple of days. It was based on the serious nature of the offense.

The grandmother of the victim, Shirley West, told WHIZ News that she is “tickled pink” that Shafer was denied and prison is the place he needs to be. West added she hopes Shafer stays there the rest of his life.

Shafer, who was 16 at the time,  was convicted of the Valentine’s Day 1993 murder and was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.