The real estate agent sentenced to two life prison terms plus 30 years for the 1990 rape and shooting death of a Rock Hill teacher is scheduled for his first chance at parole Wednesday morning.
Edward Cronell, 48, is parole eligible despite two consecutive life sentences because at the time of the crime, South Carolina law allowed parole eligibility after 20 years for murder convictions. Cronell was convicted in 1994 for the crimes against Melinda Snyder, a 22-year-old Winthrop College graduate.
The case went unsolved for three years before the S.C. Supreme Court forced Cronell to submit blood for DNA analysis that prosecutors used to link him to the crimes.
South Carolina’s parole board has seven members, and at least six must attend and vote in violent crime cases. Cronell would need five votes for release if seven members are present, and four votes if six members are present.
Cronell will appear before the board from prison via teleconference.
Snyder’s father, York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant, and others are expected to appear in person before the parole board and speak against Cronell getting released.
Check heraldonline.com Wednesday morning for updated coverage.