When Lewis Copper took the life of 13 year old Bill Kotlarz the victim's family expected the killer would get life. Instead less than 19 years later Copper has been released on parole from a Texas prison.
The victim's brother Jim Kotlarz said, "Its been difficult the last few months fighting this man's release and now all of a sudden he's out and living free."
In 1992 the two brothers were visiting an aunt near Beaumont, Texas. Cooper was a neighbor who became angry with the boys shooting a shotgun. Cooper fired his high powered rifle four times killing Bill. Jim then 14 years old dropped to the ground and watched his brother die.
Parole board members in Texas indicated to relatives that the crime was little more than an accident.
Cooper declined comment. He lives alone in a home owned by his late mother.
Jim Kotlarz said he contacted neighbors near the home. Jim said, "And to my surprise they weren't aware of it. Nobody had told therm a child killer had moved in next to them."
Kotlarz said he'll continue to make sure parole officials monitor Cooper constantly.