You all have helped make a difference and proven there really is power in the people.  Truly.  A few weeks back here at we told you how Michelle Wiesman of Owensboro was working with family members to secure petition signatures to keep her brother's killer behind bars.  And we are pleased to report that it worked! 



It was April 29th of 2010 that Officer Durman responded to a noise ordinance complaint.  He had pulled over a suspect and was standing roadside when he was struck and dragged by a vehicle driven by Glenn Doneghy, who was later convicted of 2nd Degree Manslaughter and a handful of other charges including 2nd Degree Assault and Leaving the Scene of an Accident/Failure to Render Aid.  Doneghy was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but was already being considered for parole due to a loophole in Kentucky criminal law.

At the time of Doneghy's conviction, 2nd Degree Manslaughter was considered a non-violent crime and, under the guidelines of Kentucky law, those convicted of the offense were only required to serve 20% of their sentence before being eligible for parole.

Michelle Wiesman and her family successfully lobbied government officials immediately following Doneghy's conviction and, just last spring, saw passage of the Bryan Durman Act, which was signed into law March 22nd of 2013.  Under the terms of the newly passed legislation, people convicted of criminal homicide in Kentucky will now be classified as "violent offenders" and, consequently, be subject to mandatory service of time and all applicable restrictions on parole and time served.  In other words, if Doneghy were convicted of his crimes against Officer Durman today, he would have to serve at least 85% of his 20-year sentence.  Instead, he's only required to serve 20% and was eligible for parole in April.

But Wiesman, Officer Durman's widow and other family members lobbied the parole board with a petition containing 11,855 signatures!  They firmly believe, and many of you do too, that the man whose crimes caused caused passage of the new legislation should be held to it.  And the petition worked.  It urged the Kentucky Parole Board to keep Glenn Rahan Doneghy behind bars and they denied him parole for at least two more years.  So, for those of you who shared and signed that petition, Officer Durman's family says "Thank you!"

Now, Michelle Wiesman and her family turn their attention to another matter.  They plan to rally for legislation that will give the parole board more options for deferments for prisoners eligible for parole.

Officer Bryan Durman is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and served in the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Police Department for 2 and half years before being killed in the line of duty.

Glenn Rahan Doneghy is currently serving his sentence in the Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex.