Authorities testify against parole for man convicted of 1977 Boone County murder

By  | 

BOONE COUNTY (WIFR) -- Updated: Feb. 13, 2019, 3:05 p.m.

Courtesy: Boone County Sheriff's Office

Winnebago and Boone County authorities testified in front of a parole board Wednesday morning in an effort to prevent convicted murderer Curtis Brownell from receiving parole.

Brownell was convicted of kidnapping 17-year-old Louise Betts, raping her at knife point and strangling her to death on Sept. 27, 1977. He was also convicted for kidnapping a pregnant woman, raping her and attempting to kill her by running over her over with his car.

Marilyn Hite Ross and Tricia Smith, state's attorneys for Winnebago and Boone County, testified against parole for Brownell.

Brownell has been denied parole more than a dozen times since his conviction. His last attempt came in 2014, when the Illinois Prisoner Review Board unanimously voted against his release and decided not to give him another chance at parole for five years.

The board is expected to issue a decision on whether to grant Brownell parole on March 28, 2019.

------

Published: Jan. 17, 2019, 4:05 p.m.

A parole hearing is scheduled next month for a man convicted of a 1977 murder, but authorities have supported a petition to oppose his parole.

Curtis Brownell was convicted of kidnapping 17-year-old Louise Betts, raping her at knife point and strangling her to death on Sept. 27, 1977. Police say she was not found until March 1978.

Brownell was also convicted of attempting to kill another woman on Jan. 31, 1978. He was found guilty for kidnapping a pregnant woman, raping her and attempting to run over her with his car.

Authorities say Brownell freely admitted to his crimes and offered details. Experts testified during a sentencing phase that Brownell had intense anger toward women and would be a danger if released.

The state's attorney's offices for Boone and Winnebago counties are asking the public to sign a petition that would oppose Brownell's parole. You can find the petition here​.

Brownell's parole hearing is set for Feb. 13, 2019. Authorities plan to send the petition to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board for consideration.