Convicted murderer denied release in December to have case revie - WNEM TV 5

TOUGH QUESTIONS

Convicted murderer denied release in December to have case reviewed

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Clay Hayward Clay Hayward
BAY COUNTY, MI (WNEM) - A local family is bracing for a nightmare after the man convicted of murdering their loved one could soon be set free. Back in December, Clay Hayward was set to walk free but a last minute appeal by the Bay County Prosecutor's office stopped that from happening.

Hayward will have his case reviewed again by the parole board and it could happen as early as February. If the board grants parole, the prosecutor's office has 30 days to file an appeal. Something Bay County Prosecutor Kurt Asbury says he will do.

"If they decide to parole him again, then we will challenge that process again. We don't want him let out and we'll do everything we can to keep him in prison," said Asbury.

Hayward was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to life in prison 21 years ago in the death of 19-year-old Mark Schafer.

Schafer was a soldier home on leave when he was murdered inside of a Bay City home on the night of Jan. 25, 1992.

Leslie Lebrun was just 18 years old when her brother was killed. She was enrolled at Northern Michigan University when the killing occurred.

"Most young people at that age have a lot to look forward to," Lebrun said. "It took a lot away from me at that time in my life."

Hayward was granted the possibility for parole when he was convicted and now that time has come.

In May, Leslie and her family relived every terrifying memory, begging the parole board not to release the man who ended Mark's life. Even the Bay County Prosecutor sent a letter stating that he strenuously objected to Mr. Hayward being paroled. The local state representative Wayne Schmidt also opposed his release.

The day before Thanksgiving she opened a letter that stated her biggest fear was now a reality. Hayward was 30 days away from walking free.

"The parole board, full well knowing that they were going to release him had the audacity to drag my family into that room before that man who killed my brother and relive the most horrific time in our life," Lebrun said.

If he does go free, Hayward will be on parole for a minimum of four years.

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