Convicted killer up for parole, law enforcement say it’s a danger to the public

Published: Nov. 27, 2020 at 6:28 PM CST
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VERNON PARISH, La. (KALB) - Samuel Galbraith is a convicted killer that could soon be a free man. Galbraith will go before the parole board on Dec. 1 after serving only 20 years of his 71-year sentence.

“I don’t think they need to parole him,” said Kenneth Williams, a retired VPSO investigator.

In 2019, Williams said he believes Galbraith deserves the death penalty, and one year later, he still stands by that statement.

“Yes, I do,” Williams said. “Rape and murder, yeah.”

Galbraith got arrested in 1997. Then in 2000, Galbraith took a guilty plea for manslaughter and attempted first-degree rape to avoid a life sentence, after DNA evidence linked him to the death of Karen Hill, 21, who investigators found tied to a tree in 1988.

“I’m sure he told her, you do everything I tell you, and everything is going to be alright,” Williams said. “Once he got her tied, she was staring dead at him. Then he shot her dead in the left eye. I mean her eye was open when he shot her.”

For nine years, Galbraith got away with the killing.

“He lived a free life,” said Sam Craft, the sheriff for Vernon Parish. “[He] just carried on his business. While her family, her husband, her mother... they suffered immeasurably.”

Mavin Hilton, another retired VPSO investigator, interviewed Galbraith before he took the guilty plea. Hilton describes Galbraith as cold-blooded.

“I haven’t seen any remorse from Samuel Galbraith,” Williams said.

Investigators for the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office also say Galbraith is a person of interest for two other homicides, Tammy Call and Pam Miller. Investigators found all three of their bodies near Fort Polk, the same military post where Galbraith once served.

“The situation revolving around their disappearance and the location of their bodies is so similar to Karen Hill’s,” Williams said. “I feel sure that Mr. Galbraith knows all about them too.”

“The person that had done these had learned from past experiences,” Hilton said. “Because these individuals were concealed better, and they were harder to discover.”

More than 1,500 people signed a petition, asking the parole board to keep Galbraith behind bars.

“I think it would a monumental mistake for Samuel Galbraith to be released from prison,” Hilton said.

“If they turn him loose, he’ll do the same thing again,” Williams said. “He may be a model prisoner down there around all the men while he’s in prison, but when he gets out...he’ll revert right back to doing what he was doing to start with.”

“We are strongly opposed to any sort of leniency he might receive,” Sheriff Craft said. “We are very strongly opposed.”

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