Widow outraged after convicted killer released on parole
Posted January 19, 2012
Updated January 20, 2012
Rougemont, N.C. — James Blanchies was convicted of killing a man in 1994 and burying his body in a shallow grave in Granville County.
Despite getting a life sentence, he was eligible for parole because of the state's structured sentencing laws which allow inmates who committed crimes prior to October 1994 to be released if granted parole.
On Tuesday, Blanchies, 54, was released from jail, leaving the widow of his victim confused and outraged.
Sandra Bare said her husband, Johnny Bare, 29, was restrained and beaten repeatedly for several days then left to die off of Lyon Station Road near Interstate 85 in Granville County.
"I can't explain to you how I felt. It's devastating," she said.
Johnny Bare had been missing for six months before he was found. Sandra Bare reported him missing after he failed to see his sons on the weekend visit, following the couple's separation.
She said her husband and Blanchies were friends and she still has no idea why he killed him.
Bare said Thursday she was shocked to learn Blanchies had been released.
"Why was I not contacted? I thought my right as a victim is to be contacted," Bare said.
A state Department of Public Safety spokesman said multiple attempts were made to contact Bare's family.
Blanchies was released after completing a three-year parole program and will remain on supervised probation in Durham County for the next five years, authorities said.
Knowing Blanchies is out of jail is bringing back feelings of pain for Bare.
"I feel like if I had a chance to go and speak my piece that would have made a difference, and he wouldn't be out," Bare said.
David Waters, the prosecutor who tried Blanchies' case, said he is not sure why he was released. Waters said he'd prefer to see people convicted of less serious crimes get parole.