March Parole Hearing Set for Man Convicted in 2002 DeKalb County Murder

He has already served almost fourteen years for the fatal shooting of a DeKalb County man, but 43 year old Christopher Nicholas Orlando wants to be released from prison and is asking the victim’s family to forgive him. Orlando will soon get a chance to make his case for release during a parole hearing.
Members of the Tennessee Board of Parole have set the hearing for March 8.
Orlando is serving a 45 year prison sentence for facilitation of first degree murder in the death of 20 year old Joshua Murphy. Orlando is incarcerated at the Northeast Correctional Complex in Mountain City, Tennessee.
In a published letter, Orlando claims he is sorry for his part in Murphy’s death and that he has changed.
“To the family and friends of Josh Murphy, I am writing to you to ask for forgiveness for the pain that I’ve caused you. I go up for parole again in March, 2016, and pray that you allow me a second chance. Over the past 14 years I’ve taken drug classes and programs to battle my drug dependency I used to have”.
“Saying I’m sorry is nowhere enough to express how bad I feel for what I’ve done. I’m a different person now and want to be a positive role model for my daughter and granddaughter, and show the community I can be a law abiding citizen,” wrote Orlando.
Murphy was shot and killed in a secluded area in the Laurel Hill Community at the end of Old Eagle Creek Road on Sunday, September 15, 2002. His body was discovered three days later. Officials said Orlando and a co-defendant, Melvin Turnbill suspected Murphy of stealing methamphetamine. Orlando was tried and convicted of the crime by a DeKalb County Criminal Court Jury in April, 2004.
Turnbill entered a guilty plea to facilitation to first-degree murder in September, 2003 and was given a 25-year sentence. Turnbill was incarcerated at the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex in Pikeville but he was released on parole last year.
After Orlando’s last parole hearing in March, 2013, three members of the Tennessee Board of Parole voted to deny parole for Orlando due to the seriousness of the offense and to reconsider the case in March, 2016
While Orlando said he was sorry for the death of Murphy during the parole hearing, he denied being the triggerman in the shooting, blaming Turnbill for actually committing the murder. “I was there and I made a lot of poor decisions but I didn’t shoot him,” said Orlando. “Nothing justifies anyone being killed, especially over any kind of drugs. I regret every day that I’ve been in prison about what happened that day. Let the family know that I am truly sorry for what happened to Josh. It was a bad time in my life and in all three of our lives. We were on meth. It was a horrible thing. I’m trying to do what I can to better myself. I am truly, truly sorry for what happened. Its something that disturbs me everyday. Since I’ve gotten off drugs, I’ve seen the bad choices I’ve made. I know that the drug part of it itself was the main cause of it. If you by chance would let me get parole and let me prove it to the parole board, to Josh’s family, and to my family that I can be a law abiding citizen, I’ll do the best I can,” said Orlando
Parole Board members said they found Orlando to be less than forthcoming about his involvement in the crime.
A representative of the District Attorney General’s Office, speaking on behalf of the victim’s family, also insisted that Orlando was not being candid with the board.
Orlando’s sentence is set to expire on August 22, 2040.

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