Bankston Denied Parole

Nashville, TN (2011-07-22) A Scott County man convicted of killing his wife in a bloody Thanksgiving Day murder has been denied parole by the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole.  While the action has been recommended by the Chairman of the Board, his decision must be affirmed by two other board members.

On Tuesday, July 19, 2011, William Kim Bankston, now 58, appeared before the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole in Nashville.  It was the first time the State had considered Bankston’s release since he pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of his wife, Nancy, on November 22, 2001.  Due to overcrowding in the state prison system, Bankston’s appearance before the Parole Board was earlier than expected, as, at the time of his conviction, his estimated first parole date would have been fifteen years from the date of the offense.

District Attorney General William Paul Phillips, along with Legal Intern Graham Wilson, appeared before the Parole Board on Tuesday, opposing Bankston’s release.  In addition to their appearance, a host of written letters and signed petitions opposing Bankston’s early release was also submitted for the Board’s consideration.

The hearing was conducted by Chairman Charles Traughber and one other member of the Board.  The pair denied Bankston’s release for the maximum period; however, the duo’s actions must be affirmed by two other Board members before being official.  Phillips was confident that the Parole Board would sustain the Chairman’s decision.  If affirmed, Bankston would not be eligible for parole again until July 2017.

“I am thankful for the Parole Board’s decision to deny Mr. Bankston parole,” commented Graham.  Tuesday appearance before the Board was the intern’s first.  “This tragic event is still fresh in the minds of Scott Countians, and I am grateful that Nancy’s family and friends may rest easier knowing that the perpetrator of this heinous crime will remain where he belongs—prison,” he concluded.

On March 10, 2003, Bankston pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in his wife murder.  In addition, Bankston pleaded guilty to evading arrest, aggravated assault on an officer (two counts), vandalism of more than $10,000 and felony possession of a handgun.  Collectively, he was sentenced to a total of 39 years.  His official release date from prison is October 13, 2036.  At the time of his release, Bankston would be 83 years old.