Board refuses parole for inmate held in 1991 kidnapping of Carrie Lawson

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s parole board is refusing to free an inmate convicted of kidnapping a young attorney who was never seen again following her disappearance in 1991.

The board denied parole Tuesday for 54-year-old Karen McPherson, who has been in prison 25 years.

McPherson was sentenced to life imprisonment for her role in the kidnapping of 25-year-old Carrie Smith Lawson in Walker County on Sept. 11, 1991.

Relatives paid a ransom for Lawson’s release, but she wasn’t freed and her body was never found.

McPherson’s cousin, Jerry Bland, was named the main suspect in the case. But he committed suicide as police surrounded his home.

The board will consider McPherson for parole again in five years.

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