HARRIS COUNTY, Texas -- The daughter of a murder victim got justice on Wednesday in Harris County courtroom. But she says that justice rings hollow since the murder happened 28 years ago and the admitted killer will serve just 6 months in jail.
Pam Nalley’s father Roy Joe McCaleb was murdered 28 years ago, shot in the head while he slept at his home. His wife at the time, Carolyn Sue Krizan-Wilson, claimed an intruder – a rapist – shot McCaleb with the gun she kept under her pillow and that he dropped the gun as he fled.
Prosecutors could not disprove her account and the case lingered for 23 years.
"Was she upset and crying, no, never shed a tear,” Nalley said of her stepmother the night of the murder, the day of the funeral, and for all the years that followed.
But Nalley was always suspicious and celebrated in 2008 when the case was reopened and Krizan-Wilson indicted and arrested. But a district court judge threw out the case saying too much time had passed and that Krizan-Wilson, suffering from pre-dementia, had no memory of what happened.
"And now knowing that she doesn't have to stand trial for something she didn't do, she's greatly relieved,” said her attorney James Stafford in 2009.
But after five years in the appeals process the dismissal was reversed and sent back to court. Then Wednesday Krizan-Wilson agreed to a plea deal. She admitted she did kill her husband 28 years ago.
"The good about this to me is that she has on her own admitted that she murdered him. That she has finally admitted to what we've known all these years,” Nalley said.
But the plea deal also stipulates that she will spend only six months in the county jail. She will begin serving that sentence on December 26.
"Oh, that's wrong. That's nothing compared to all the misery that we've been through,” said Nalley. “I would prefer that she would go to prison for the rest of her life.”
Attorneys on both sides took into account that the woman is now 71 years old and reportedly suffers from dementia. But to a daughter, she got away with murder.
"Yeah she pretty much did,” Nalley said. “To me right now she got a free pass for murder because so much time has passed."