Parole Halted For Longtime Prison Inmate

CLEVELAND (AP) - State parole authorities have halted the Dec. 21 parole of William Louis Banks, a convicted killer who has served more than 45 years.

Ohio Parole Board spokeswoman Andrea Dean said the decision means the board will grant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason's request to reconsider its decision to parole the 64-year-old convict.

She said a public hearing has not been scheduled but will be held in January.

Banks, who was convicted of killing William J. Cater in 1955 and David Ames in 1959, has served more time than any prisoner in the state -- nearly 46 years.

After the Parole Board notified him last month that he would be released on Dec. 21, Banks said he was looking forward to spending his first Christmas since 1954 as a free man.

The Parole Board decided to reconsider its decision to free Banks after Mason said there was no evidence that he had been rehabilitated.

Banks previously was paroled and then quickly returned to prison in 1959 for killing Ames, in 1973 for shooting his own brother, and in 1985 for slapping his common-law wife and threatening her relatives.

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