Convicted killer of Rock Hill teacher addresses parole board in 2014 hearing
The Herald’s coverage of a previous state law that allows Edward Cronell to seek release every two years spawned an Investigation Discovery television documentary that aired earlier this month.
Cronell, 51, a real estate agent with access to the home of Melinda Snyder, a teacher and Winthrop University graduate, was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years.
DNA evidence from the scene matched Cronell, but it took until 1994 for the case to go to trial, after the state Supreme Court forced Cronell to give a sample.
Police and prosecutors argued that Cronell, scorned after a swinger’s party, assaulted Snyder and shot her.
The parole board voted Wednesday to deny Cronell’s second attempt at freedom, parole officials said. He cannot seek parole again until September 2018.
Since first being denied in 2014, Cronell, who has never shown remorse for the crime to parole officials, has been disciplined in prison for possession of a cellphone and using social media. Both of those infractions are against prison rules and Cronell was put in disciplinary detention for 60 days, plus other sanctions.
Cronell is eligible for a parole hearing every two years despite being sentenced to two life terms plus 30 years in prison.
State law before 1996 allowed prisoners sentenced to life to have a shot at parole after 20 years. The law was changed in 1996; under the change, a life sentence now means life without parole.