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Ex-preacher who killed wife denied parole after family protests

Earnie Stokes pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2008, after his wife of 35 years, Syble Stokes, was found dead inside their Centreville home.

Former Bibb County Preacher Earnie Stokes was denied parole Tuesday morning at a hearing before the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles in Montgomery. Family members told ABC 33/40 exclusively the hearing was bittersweet. They won't have to revisit the parole board for another five years.Stokes pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2008, after his wife of 35 years, Syble Stokes, was found dead inside their Centreville home.For the first time, Stokes' son, Daniel Stokes, took the stand."This has been so hard," Stokes said, "This has ripped my family apart. I've been lied to."Stokes said his father didn't have a history of violence, but testified to the board he was scared of what his father could be capable of.Also in attendance was Earnie Stokes' sister and brother-in-law, who took the stand in Stokes' defense. His former attorney pointed out that he had taken every step toward rehabilitation available while in prison.The victim's sister Deborah Pullen said House Representative Mack Butler is willing to help the family pursue new legislation that would not allow parole when time served is part of a plea deal.
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