The man convicted in a double shooting in 1997 is denied parole for a third time. Jeron Grant asked to be released after serving half of his 12-year sentence. But the parole board denied his request.
Grant was convicted as an accessory in the murders of 15-year old Scott Hawrysiak and 13-year old Andrew Westbay. The boys were gunned down near their homes in Colorado Springs on Valentines Day, 1997. Prosecutors say the two were walking home after visiting a friend. That’s when Grant Flakes and Grant drove by and shot them, execution-style. It took nearly a month before they were arrested, and several years before they were convicted.
Prosecutors always believed Grant was the gunman. Yet he was convicted as an accessory to the crime. He's served nearly half of his 12-year sentence. But the victims’ families want him to serve every single day of his sentence.
One family member spoke to 11 News exclusively about the case. Michael Westbay says his nephew, Andrew, was an only son. So was his friend, 15-year-old Scott Hawrysiak. He says, after their murders, their families couldn't have imagined the possibility of parole for one of the men responsible for their deaths. "That's a small price to pay for the crimes he committed that Valentine’s evening."
Jeron Grant was 18 when he was convicted. At the time, the public was outraged he wasn’t convicted of murder. Later, the other defendant, Gary Flakes, was found guilty of murder. "Two innocent boys were killed execution style---11-houses from home. It was a 25-day unsolved crime and that 25-days was terrible. The last seven years have been terrible," says Westbay.
Right after Grant's trial in 1998, his father broke his silence and defended his son---saying Grant could not be the triggerman. He also hoped for peace. "I pray for them and hope they find it in their hearts to forgive my son," said James Horry, at that time.
Andrew Westbay's uncle wants the parole board and the public to know what murder victims’ families deal with every time a senseless murder is committed. "Jeron Grant and Gary Flakes need to be punished for this crime and seven years is not long enough," says Michael Westbay.