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Convicted Killer Set Free

A man convicted of killing a 16-year-old in Columbia has been paroled after serving 17 percent of his prison sentence. Now, a year later, the teen’s family is just finding out the killer is free. The victim’s family members were never notified about the release or invited to attend the parole hearing. James Gant now lives in Kansas City. He was sentenced to 198 years in prison for murdering Brenda Hendren execution style, and injuring two others in 1977 on Tenth Street in Columbia. When sentenced, the law only required he serve two-thirds of the sentence, or two years — whichever came first. That 1969 law has since changed.

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