Hamblen Co. family hoping for justice amid wait for decision on convicted murderer’s parole status

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A Hamblen County family pushing for justice as one of the two people convicted in killing their loved one has his first parole hearing.

Last month we sat down with the Moore family after receiving word a parole hearing was scheduled in March for Johnny Kirk.

More: Hamblen County family pushes for justice; convicted murderer up for parole

Mr. Kirk and Carmen Kirk were charged in 2015 with first degree murder, felony murder and robbery. They’re convicted in the murder of Mickey Moore back in 2003.

Moore was killed in the driveway of her Hamblen County home after returning home from a local pharmacy.

On Thursday, Mr. Kirk had his first parole hearing via video technology. He’s currently being housed in the West Tennessee State Penitentiary. The Moore family was at Knoxville’s Probation and Parole Office.

“They re-read the crime. That was a little bit much to re-hash today, a lot because her birthday is actually tomorrow,” said Kim Sipe.

Sipe is Mickey Moore’s niece and during the parole hearing, she says she was her aunt’s voice, “For 14 years you lived your life. You went on about your life. You had options to change your life. For us, we lived in fear. Even for the lack of words, curiosity on what happened. There was no final closure for myself and my family. She was taken from us.”

The Kirks were arrested in 2015, the case went to trial in 2017. Mr. Kirk began serving his sentence on July 27, 2017. He’s ordered to serve 30-percent minimum of his sentence.

“I have forgiven them a long time ago because if not, it would consume and ruin your life. I didn’t want that, Mickey wouldn’t want that,” said Sipe.

Thursday’s parole hearing was Mr. Kirk’s first parole hearing. Sipe says the final outcome will be decided over the coming days, “That’ll probably be the longest 7 to 10 days waiting on an outcome.”

Sipe says they gave several letters from family and friends asking the board to deny Mr. Kirk’s parole. 

“I would like for him to serve his full amount of allotted time. If it’s 30-percent of 12 years, than it’s 30-percent of 12 years.”

While they wait, the family says they’re sure of one thing.

“For once she does have justice. These two individuals are in jail. So, I do feel like she has a sense of closure because she likely feels like her family has a sense of closure. You know the truth. You know what happened,” said Sipe.

We’re told if Kirk is not granted parole, the board will determine how long he’ll need to wait before his next parole hearing. However, if the board does grant him parole, he’ll be eligible for release in early May of this year.

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