Family angered by release of teen killer

ONEONTA, Ala. (WIAT) — The families of two teenagers who were murdered back in 1992 are outraged that one of the convicted killers is now a free man.

Nathan Gast is one of three men found guilty in the case. He was released on July third, much to the surprise of the victim’s families.

Fifteen-year-old Allen Eakes and 14-year-old Kevin Duncan of Oneonta were both killed in Jefferson County in 1992.

According to court records the boys were hit in the head a baseball bat then left to drown in Shades Creek near Highway 150 in Bessemer, Christopher Thrasher and Carvin Stargell are serving life sentences in connection with the killings.

“Chris Thrasher stayed at the apartment complex with the little girl. It was Nathan Gast and Carvin Stargell that took them down there and told them we’re going to stop and ya’ll are going to get out and we’re going to use the restroom one last time and then I’m taking ya’ll home, but the minute my little brother stepped out he busted him over his head,” said Eddie Eakes.

Nathan Gast, who pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder, was released last week on a Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge’s order. The brother of Allen Eakes says both families were planning to fight Gast’s parole at the next hearing, but the court ruling came without warning.

Eakes says a teenage girl witness who was beaten but survived, later testified in the case.

Defense attorney Tommy Spina, argues in a court filing that Nathan Gast saved one victim’s life through his cooperation with law enforcement. Gast was 15 at the time and Spina cites a case where the U.S. Supreme Court held it unconstitutional to sentence a juvenile to life without parole.

In the Unopposed Petition for Relief of Judgment Pursuant to Rule 32 of the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure

Spina says that when the plea was entered and Gast sentenced, there was a realistic possibility that he would be eligible for parole, but that parole is now unlikely and his sentence is effectively a sentence of life without parole and is unconstitutional.

“At Mr. Gast’s sentencing, it was always contemplated that Mr. Gast, based on his cooperation with law enforcement and saving of a victim’s life as a result of his cooperation, would be paroled after fifteen years of imprisonment. Since that time, parole has been denied and the likelihood of parole being granted in the future is remote. Undersigned counsel has discussed the contents of this Petition with the District Attorney, Arthur Green, and he has no objection to the granting of this motion and the re-sentencing of this defendant.”

Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News

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