Woman fights to keep Morristown murderer in prison

Woman fights to keep Morristown murderer in prison

Mary Jones (source: family) Mary Jones (source: family)
"He'll do it again," Mitzi Holt said. "He's a serial killer." "He'll do it again," Mitzi Holt said. "He's a serial killer."
Randy Lee May (source: Tennessee Department of Correction) Randy Lee May (source: Tennessee Department of Correction)

6 News Reporter

MORRISTOWN (WATE) - A woman is fighting to keep the man who attacked her and killed her best friend from getting out of prison.

Randy Lee May, 53, is serving a life sentence for what's known as one of the most brutal crimes in Hamblen County history.

In July 1980, Mitzi Holt, 15, and Mary Jones, 16, were walking back from a park when they were attacked.

May stabbed Mitzi several times and left her in the woods to die. He gruesomely raped and murdered Mary.

"As we started coming back from the park, we were approached by a yellow truck," Mitzi said. "There was a man posing as a police officer. He said his name was Randy May and he was looking for two runaways. The runaways were people we went to school with so we were worried."

Mitzi says May got them into his truck, and then took them into the woods where he separated them. She says he attacked her first.

"He sliced my throat so I pretended I was dying and held my breath. He picked up my right arm, and handcuffed me to a tree. The next thing I knew, he came down three times on my chest stabbing me with a big hunter's knife," Mitzi said.

As Mitzi pretended to be dead, she says May went after Mary, raping and killing her. "It was very brutal. He cut her jugular vein out of her throat. They found her face down, her panties pushed into her posterior with a stick," she said.

After years laced with fear, nervous breakdowns and health problems stemming from living through the trauma, Mitzi is fighting to keep May in prison.

He first came up for parole in 2002, then in 2005 and he meets the parole board again Thursday morning.

Mitzi says she's scared. When May was first sentenced, he made a threat to her that she'll never forget.

"In the courtroom he turned around and said 'I'll be back for you' and after that he sent friends to kill me. He wanted them to break him out of prison," Mitzi said.

The longer May spends in prison, Mitzi fears the greater his chances are of getting out. "He'll do it again," she said. "He's a serial killer."

Thirty-one years later, Mitzi is forced to face her demon again and again. She asks the public to make their voices heard as May goes up for parole at the Southeastern Tennessee State Regional Correctional Facility in Pikeville.

You can e-mail William.b.henderson@tn.gov or fax a letter to 423-881-4226 to the attention of "IPO."

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