Savannah murder suspect has killed before

Crime & Safety

He’s accused of stabbing and killing the woman he lived with this weekend.

But should Keith Green have been walking the streets of Savannah in the first place?

Green was arrested in the death of Yasmin Shabazz, who was found in the 2100 block of Hanson Street on Friday night.

The suspect has already spent time in a Georgia State Prison for his role in another killing.

In 1996, Green was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for shooting 17-year-old Dwayne Martin.

The pair were apparently fighting at Jenkins High School for several days.

On Feb. 22, Green shot Martin in the chest right outside of the school. Witnesses say he pistol-whipped and kicked his victim before shooting him a second time.

Green, who was 15 years old then, was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison. He only spent 15 years behind bars before being paroled in 2011.

Apparently, no one in Chatham County knew he was out.

“He was tried in DeKalb County so notice was sent to DeKalb County,” explained Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap. “So we didn’t receive notice. So we did not notify the victim’s family from the crime in 1996 because we didn’t get notice.

“I want to be able to do my job and notify the victims of these families that these guys are getting out, and we are not.”

It didn’t take long for Green to get in trouble with the law again.

This time in 2014, in Clayton County, he was arrested on domestic violence, false imprisonment and cruelty to a child. The victim in the case: Yasmin Shabazz.

“The woman that he murdered this past weekend was the same woman he assaulted three years ago,” said Heap.

Green was put back in prison in 2014 for violating his parole. Instead of spending 10 years behind bars, which would have been the rest of his original sentence, he was let out after just three.

“He is paroled sooner than he should have been,” said the DA. “While on parole, he commits another violent offense. My office specifically continuing to look at these violent offenders who commit more violent crimes. He should not have been paroled.”

Criminals let out early on parole is a continuing problem that Heap says the county is working to stop, find a solution, and get some answers.

“I’m trying to do everything I can but roadblocks are being put up that shouldn’t be there,” she said.

Heap said her office is only fighting to hold the most violent offenders behind bars, not every convicted criminal that comes through the system.

She continues to fight with the Board of Pardons and Parole for fighting for victim’s rights that are being withheld. It’s an effort for more information to be revealed about the inmate’s past, his or her disciplinary record, for meaningful parole hearings where victims family can be heard, and why or why they shouldn’t be paroled.

But Heap says her office gets the same answer to many of those requests.

“What was this guy’s record in prison, his disciplinary record, what did it look like? Well, its being deemed a state secret,” she said, adding, “Any type of violation of probation its public record, you can come into court and hear that. Why if you are on parole is that a state secret? It doesn’t make any sense,” says Heap.

News 3 reached out to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole for comment.

They responded with this statement:

“This offender served 16 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter, a crime committed at age 15. When considering parole, the board reviews all circumstances of the crimes and the history of the offender, including his age when the crime was committed. He was released originally on parole in 2011 after serving eight more years (total of 16) beyond his statutory parole eligibility date in 2003. After serving on parole three years, his parole was revoked in 2014 for violations including a misdemeanor conviction.  Following confinement in prison for an additional three years, he was paroled in Feb. of 2017. He is currently being held without bond on a parole warrant.”

Green served 16 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter and crimes he committed at the age of 15.
Statutory parole eligibility was in 2003 after seven years in prison.
In 2011, he was paroled.
In 2014, upon being arrested, his parole was revoked by the board.
Following three additional years of confinement, he was paroled in Feb. 2017.
All statutory notifications were made in this case which includes those required by law to the DA and any registered victims.

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