One family’s fight for justice continues more than 30 years after the murders of two sisters in the Heights.
The 1984 murders of Yleen and Lillie Kennedy went unsolved for decades until Edmond Beauregard Degan was arrested in 2015. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison in a plea bargain.
Now, Degan, who has a long criminal history, is already under review for parole.
The news came as a shock to Jackie Elliott, the victims' niece.
She was only 11 years old when Yleen and Lillie were killed in their small blue and white home near 12th and Oxford. Her mother came to her school to tell her what happened.
"I was sitting in my school cafeteria with my classmates having lunch," Jackie said. "You don't expect for something like this to happen in your family."
She remembers her grandfather's heartache after finding his daughters' bodies.
"He walked around the corner and this is what he found, his own two daughters, so this has just affected our family in so many ways," she said.
Yleen, 33, had been raped, beaten and stabbed. Lillie, 23, died of a single gunshot wound to the head.
Jackie said her grandmother never got over it.
"She spent most of her life trying to find out what happened to her daughters," Jackie said. “They all went to the grave not knowing what happened to Yleen and Lillie."
Elliot has lived with the pain for most of her life. She doesn't think the 15-year sentence was enough for Degan who was connected to the case through DNA.
“He's been able to live his life for 30 years, go on, get married, have kids. All of the things my family was robbed of," Elliot said. “Serving the 15 years complete still, in my opinion, not enough time."
Victim advocate Andy Kahan says he doesn’t see Degan being paroled now, but says he will be released automatically in 2024 thanks to an outdated law that would still apply.
“The fact that he’s going to be automatically released in seven years, certainly adds to the pain, misery and grief that all the victims of the Kennedy sisters are going to have to endure," Kahan said.
The family is asking anyone and everyone to send letters on their behalf protesting Degan's parole.
If you would like to send a letter, include in the letter:
Offender Edmond Degan
State ID# 02015096
Victim Services Division
8712 Shoal Creek Blvd., Suite 265
Austin, TX 78757-6899