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Man Who Got Life As A Teen For Killing Police Chief Dad To Be Released
When he was 15, Nathanael High and his 13-year-old girlfriend worked together to fatally shoot his police chief father Randy High while he was sleeping.
A North Carolina man who killed his own father, a police chief in their town, as a teen will soon be released from prison.
Nathanael High, 34, could be released from prison as early as 2023, local outlet WSOC-TV reports. While High was initially sentenced to life without parole in 2004 for shooting his father to death two years prior, changes in state law have since prevented minors from getting life without parole. High was 15 when he and his 13-year-old girlfriend shot his dad Randy High as he slept in his bed. He had claimed that his father, who was then the chief of the Gaston College Police Department, had been abusing him.
On Wednesday, High entered into a plea deal with prosecutors in court which would allow for the shorter sentence, WCNC-TV reports. High’s charge was reduced to second-degree murder from first-degree as a result. Current Gaston County Police Chief Joseph Ramey called the deal "risky" in court.
"We're taking a risk in letting someone who's committed homicide, first-degree homicide, in allowing them a shorter sentence," Ramey said. "I think that's too risky."
But High maintains that he's learned his lesson.
"It's very important for me that my family knows how sorry I am for this," High said in court on Wednesday. "Being punished is part of the process, and I'm doing my part."
He also expressed fondness for his slain father.
“It’s hard for people to understand that I still love my dad too, and I miss him,” he said, according to WSOC. “Nothing my dad ever did to me means he deserved what happened to him.”
Some of his family have welcomed the news.
“Nathanael has a wonderful heart, and we need him to come home,” his sister Melissa Slamcik said in court.
She added, “I'm sorry for that part of the family who's still angry with him. We need my brother back. My children need their uncle,” WCNC reports.
High’s former girlfriend and co-defendant, whose name has not been released, is scheduled to be released in 2024 for her second-degree murder conviction.