Man Convicted of Killing Teen Friend in 1981 Seeks Parole - NECN
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Man Convicted of Killing Teen Friend in 1981 Seeks Parole

George MacNeill was convicted of strangling Bonnie Sue Mitchell in Lynn when she was 15 years old

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Parole Board Hears Case in 1981 Murder Conviction

    A Massachusetts man who was convicted of strangling his friend in 1981 is asking to be released from prison.

    (Published Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019)

    A Massachusetts man convicted of killing his teenage friend in 1981 is asking to be released from prison.

    George MacNeill, now in his 50s, was convicted of strangling Bonnie Sue Mitchell in Lynn when she was 15 years old.

    Mitchell's family wants her killer to stay behind bars.

    "I feel like an 11-year-old kid again," said Mitchell's sister Marlene at MacNeill's hearing on Tuesday. "It’s horrible."

    Parole Hearing for Man Convicted of Killing Teen in 1981

    [NECN] Parole Hearing for Man Convicted of Killing Teen in 1981

    A man convicted of killing his teenage friend in 1981 is asking to be released from prison. Meanwhile, the victim's family is calling for George MacNeill to remain behind bars.

    (Published Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019)

    MacNeill is now eligible for parole after a state court ruling in 2013 determined juveniles who commit murder should be granted that possibility.

    MacNeill spoke softly and rocked while being questioned by the parole board and claimed his memory is failing him.

    He said he killed Mitchell in the bathroom of a Lynn cemetery because she was threatening his girlfriend at the time who he thought was pregnant.

    "She was in my arms. And I remember asking myself, 'what the hell did you do,'" MacNeill recalled.

    Bonnie's family says their sister liked MacNeill and he took advantage of that. Her older brother David Beals said he tried to stop them from seeing one another.

    "I had that regret constantly of, 'I'm waiting for something to happen,'" Beals recalled. "I didn't do anything last time I saw him."

    Four of Bonnie’s family members, some driving 9 hours were expected to plead with the parole board to keep MacNeill behind bars, including her niece, May Hitaj.

    "She was my protector," Hitaj said. "After he murdered her... I was afraid of him."

    Outside of court, Beals said he MacNeill has never apologized for the killing.

    "There was no remorse there was no... he just sat and rocked in his chair, he didn't cry," said Beals. "Most people who feel real remorse would at least show it."

    Even though she's been gone 38 years, the family believes their sister is close.

    "She'll be here with us today.. to keep him where he belongs," Marlene said.

    An Essex County assistant district attorney was expected to testify to keep MacNeill locked up saying he murdered Mitchell in cold blood and hasn't shown remorse. The parole board will take all the testimony they hear and decide whether or not to grant parole and make their decision in a matter of weeks or months.

    "If they let him out, there's something wrong with the 6 of them," Beals said referring to the parole board.

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