The father of a convicted murder is speaking out to keep his son behind bars.
Danny Shafer is the father of Billy Joe Shafer. On Feburary 14th, 1993, Billy Joe Shafer brutally raped, tortured and murdered Sara West,5, in her Zanesville home. With Billy’s parole hearing coming up in early February, the West family is holding a rally this Sunday at 2 pm at the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union Hall Off Route 60 to honor Sara and send a message to the parole board to keep Billy behind bars.
Danny Shafer will be speaking at the rally and has a simple message for the crowd.
"I am going to try to get support to keep him in prison, he don’t need to be out on the streets," says Danny Shafer.
Danny says Billy is unstable and he believes Billy will kill again if released from prison. Shirley West, Sara’s grandmother, says she has collected more than 33,000 signatures on a petition to keep Billy Joe Shafer in prison. She is also asking the community to send in letters to the parole board requesting Shafer be denied parole to the address below:
DRC Victim’s Services
770 West Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43222
Each page must contain Shafer’s inmate number, A279420. Or you can go to the "Block Parole" link above to print off a pre-written letter to sign and send in to the parole board. All letters must be sent in by January 15th. Shafer will never view any of the letters, only a parole board member can view them. But they will remain in his permanent file for any future parole hearings. Danny Shafer and the West family say they have received death threats from Billy Joe Shafer and Danny Shafer says they need community’s support.
"Go to the rally and try to keep him in right where he is for the rest of his life. He should never be out ," says Danny Shafer.
Shirley West says with the parole board meeting coming up she is caught between hope and hell. Hope that Billy will be denied parole, but hell that she lost her granddaughter in a brutal murder.