The man convicted of killing Grand Ole Opry star David “Stringbean” Akeman and his wife Estelle was released from prison Monday morning.
John Brown, 64, was granted parole last month after spending 40 years in prison for the murders.
Brown was taken from the Lois DeBerry Special Needs Facility in a white van to meet his parole officer. He declined to speak to the media.
Akeman, star of “Hee Haw” and a performer on the Grand Ole Opry, and his wife were killed in 1973 as they returned to their home following a performance at the Opry.
Maury Davis, pastor of Cornerstone Church in Madison, has agreed to give Brown a job at the church.
Brown’s wife is a longtime church member who also works at the church.
Davis told News 2 he’s never met Brown but will be meeting with him later Monday to talk about his transition to life outside of prison.
He said he can identify with Brown, having served 8 years in prison for murder himself.
“Because of my past, understanding what he’s going to go through and the pain, the conflict, the frustration, the overwhelmingness, probably my past does allow me to understand that a little bit different,” Davis explained.
He added that the transition will be difficult for Brown.
“You’re going to go through an awareness that you don’t fit in. The world has passed you by.”
Over the next few weeks, Davis said Brown will shadow the head of facilities at the church and they’ll determine what job best suits him.
- Oct. 20, 2014: Nashville pastor to give Stringbean’s killer job after prison release
- Oct. 15, 2014: Man who killed Opry, ‘Hee Haw’ star Stringbean granted parole
- July 19, 2011: Stringbean’s killer tearfully pleas for prison release
- July 11, 2011: Opry star’s killer again seeks parole
- Sept. 8, 2008: Stringbean’s killer denied parole
- July 24, 2008: Pastor with similar past gives killer second chance
- July 23, 2008: Stringbean’s killer makes parole plea