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Family petitions against parole

Since the murder of her niece in 1983, Penny Morrison has thought about the dancer and former beauty queen every single day.
“Everybody thinks it’s been 20 years, you can get over it, but you can’t get over something like this,” she said. “It never goes away.”
Kimberly Goodman, Morrison’s niece, was stabbed 17 times in her own backyard in southern Iredell County. She was only 20 years old.
Now, Goodman’s murderer is up for parole, and the victim’s family, many of whom live in Lincoln County, have started a petition campaign to have his parole denied.
“We will not ever stop the battle of trying to keep him in prison where he belongs,” said Bryan Morrison, Goodman’s uncle.
Goodman’s murderer, Brett Abrams, was 14 years old at the time of the crime. He was tall for his age and weighed 176 pounds.
Goodman had spent time babysitting Abrams, who was her neighbor. In 1982, when Abrams’ younger brother was killed in a fire, Goodman had spent time comforting him.
Prior to the murder, Abrams had been caught on a ladder peeping in Goodman’s window. He had also exhibited menacing behavior to other female neighbors.
On the day of the murder, Goodman’s father and brother were off on a fishing trip and Kim was alone at her home.
Abrams, who later pled guilty to second degree murder, stabbed Goodman 17 times in what the Iredell County Sheriff’s report described as a “frenzied attack.”
Since the age of six, Abrams had been taken to mental health agencies. Following the murder, psychiatrists concluded that he was suffering from an aggressive conduct disorder.
Abrams was sentenced to life in prison without parole, but due to the Fair Sentencing Act, Abrams could receive parole based on good behavior while incarcerated.
Abrams has been up for parole before, and every time Goodman’s family members visit the N.C. Parole Commission and request that he stay behind bars.
“We do truly believe that he will kill again,” said Bryan Morrison.
They tell the parole board what kind of person Goodman was and how her murder affected the lives of those who loved her.
“When we go to the hearing, we relive this stuff over and over and over,” said Penny Morrison.
“It’s bad when you sit there, and you talk and talk and talk, and you get no response.”
This year was the first year, Goodman’s father could not participate in the parole hearing. He died of cancer earlier in the year.
“The day he went into a coma he made us all promise that we would continue the fight,” said Penny Morrison.
The family is doing their best by starting the petition campaign.
Abrams has been up for parole before, but this year they are especially concerned that it will be granted.
“They weren’t making the decision quick like in the past,” said Bryan Morrison.
Petitions will circulate throughout the county. All those interested in signing the petition or collecting signatures can contact Goodman’s family at P.O. Box 5086, Mooresville, NC 28115 or at 704-483-1832.by Sarah Grano

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