Family of murdered Hanford man brace for killer's parole hearing

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If commissioners find he no longer poses a threat to society, he could be released. (KFSN)

Phillip Clark Watts is 50-years-old now and locked up at the correctional training facility in Soledad, where in a few weeks, he will have a parole suitability hearing. If commissioners find he no longer poses a threat to society, he could be released.

But given what he did to their loved one decade ago, family members of Lawrence Harrison feel he' is still a threat to them, and society at large.

His great-granddaughter, Cindy Craddock-Biletnikoff is leading the effort to oppose Watts' release.

"It was just brutal," she said. "It was far beyond what you could see in any horror movie, beyond comprehension."

In August of 1992, the 82-year-old Harrison was beaten and stabbed to death inside his own Hanford home.

The retired car mechanic's eyes were gouged out and he had bite marks on his back.

Watts was arrested for the murder.

"I can't even imagine the terror he experienced fighting for his life, resulting in the end of his life -- a life so well lived," Craddock-Biletnikoff said.

Action News was there for Watts' sentencing in 1993.

Harrison's family members spoke emotionally about their loss, and Watts lashed out, before being lead out of the courtroom.

Now, family members say, Watts could be let out of prison when they do not believe his punishment ever fit his crime.

"My grandfather has no chance," Craddock-Biletnikoff said. "There is nothing to restore his life or nothing is ever going to restore the lifetime sentence that my family has been serving or that we will continue to serve."

In advance of the parole hearing, Hanford Police Chief Parker Sever has opposed Watts' release, and there is a petition on to keep him locked up.

Harrison's family plans to be at the prison on December 21st.
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