Man sentenced to life in prison for 1988 double murder set to be released from prison today

Eugene Hart was approved for parole in September 2014, based on his participation in "specialized programs," officials said.
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man who was sentenced to life in prison for the double murder of a brother and sister in 1988 is scheduled to be released from prison today.

Eugene Hart, 64, was convicted and sentenced to two life terms for the shooting deaths of 24-year-old Mark Kelley and his sister, 20-year-old Kara Kelley Voss. Another man, Leo Jenkins, was convicted and sentenced to death.

Mark Kelley was a married father of two children. Voss had been married for less than a year. The siblings were working at their family's pawn shop in north Houston when they were shot and killed during a robbery 33 years ago.

"At the time, they were my only best friends," the victims' sister, Robin Kelley, told ABC13. "That hole in your heart never goes away, and you just live with it."

Jenkins was executed in 1996, and the Kelleys were the first victim's family ever to witness an execution in Texas.

"It was one less bad guy living on the earth," Robin Kelley said. Now, she is confronting Hart's impending freedom. "I just fear for the public."

In an email, Timothy McDonnell, the chief of staff for the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, said Hart was approved for parole in September 2014, based on his participation in "specialized programs."

Hart had served only 26 years, but while in prison he picked up an aggravated assault conviction and eight more years, making his release date this month, he said.

For Robin Kelley, it's not enough.

"I just wish there was some way that when you get a life sentence when someone kills someone you love, it's actually life," she said.

Hart will be under the Super-Intensive Supervision Program, the highest level of supervision, McDonnell said. He is also not allowed in Harris County when he is released.

Most recently, he has been at the Estelle Unit in Huntsville. Harris County does not have an attorney of record on file for Hart.

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