A man sentenced to life imprisonment 40 years ago after he was convicted of first-degree rape by the New Hanover Superior Court has been approved for a supervised release.
The N.C. Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission, an independent agency in Raleigh responsible for releasing inmates who meet eligibility requirements based on state law, approved the parole of Shellman Hughes, 74.
He is currently being held in the Neuse Correctional Institute, a minimum- and medium-security prison that has been hit hard by a spread of Covid-19 cases among its prisoner population.
“The state’s current sentencing law, Structured Sentencing, eliminates parole for crimes committed on or after Oct. 1, 1994,” according to a letter sent to media outlets by the commission on Monday. “However, the Commission has the responsibility of paroling offenders who were sentenced under previous guidelines.”