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Virginia assassin, intercourse offender to get early launch in 15-year-old’s strangling

A Virginia killer who strangled a 15-year-old girl in 1988 after claiming he had consensual sex with her is set to go free next week after 32 years in prison.

A year after the crime, Gregory Joyner of Lynchburg, Virginia received a life sentence plus 10 years for an additional attempted rape conviction, the maximum sentence for any offense. He was then 17 years old.

He confessed to strangling Sarah Jamison and burying her in the woods near her parents’ house. Her body went undetected and decomposed in a shallow grave for two weeks.

Gregory Joyner confessed to strangling Sarah Jamison and burying her in the woods near her parents’ home. (Virginia Department of Corrections)

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When investigators recovered her remains, the physical evidence was forfeit, the Washington Post reported at the time. However, investigators believed she had been raped because of bruises and the location of her body, and police found evidence of Joyner in Jamison’s diary.

During the trial, Joyner allegedly posed for news cameras urging them to get his “good side” and has not publicly expressed remorse for Jamison’s brutal murder, according to prosecutors.

After his release, he is said to be based in Petersburg, Virginia, and to register as a sex offender, according to Bethany Harrison, attorney for the Lynchburg Commonwealth.

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Jamison’s father, Dell Jamison, questioned the parole board’s decision after the family was informed in December, calling it “a major mistake”.

“When Joyner murdered Sarah, it was a lifetime,” he said at the time. “Why should he be released after serving only part of his life? His sentence was punishment, not rehabilitation – so he has 30 or 40 years to complete his sentence.”

Harrison said he was denied parole in 2017 and 2019. But new board members appointed by the Democratic Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, reversed course this year and granted the killer his freedom.

The state probation authority does not comment on individual cases.

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Harrison said in a statement that she and Jamison’s surviving family “are absolutely against it [Joyner’s] Publication.”

“He received a life sentence plus 10 years,” she said. “He has expressed no public repentance. We have no information that he has changed in any way. After reading the transcripts of his interviews and the testimony of witnesses in this murder case, one fact remained clear: Gregory Joyner has a cold – a bloody murderer.” . “

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