Parole hearing scheduled for man convicted of murdering Karen Hill in 1988 near Ft. Polk

Published: May. 15, 2023 at 9:34 PM CDT
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Fort Polk, LA (KPLC) - A man convicted of murder could soon be a free man.

Karen Hill was kidnapped and murdered by a soldier stationed at Fort Polk. Her killer was presumed to be behind bars for the rest of his life, but a parole hearing scheduled for next week has a community, a family and prosecutors questioning the convicted killer’s fate.

“The facts of the case are so heinous,” former Vernon Parish District Attorney Asa Skinner said. “The motive behind it – he told his friends he wanted to see what it felt like. Who in the world does that? What kind of evil person does that to see what it felt like to go out and do this to an individual?”

Samuel Galbraith was sentenced to 71 years. After taking a plea deal, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and attempted first-degree rape in the 1988 murder of Karen Hill.

Hill worked at a convenience store near Fort Polk, where her husband and Galbraith were stationed.

Investigators found Hill’s body tied to a tree with a gunshot wound to her head in 1988.

Galbraith wasn’t accused of her murder until 1997. He was sentenced in 2000.

Despite opposition, in 2016, Galbraith was granted parole, which was later rescinded due to a mailing error.

In 2020, Galbraith went before the parole board a second time. He was denied.

On May 24, he will once again face the parole board, Hill’s family and those who fought for justice.

Skinner, who was assistant district attorney at the time of the case, said it’s inconceivable a person who committed such a crime would receive any kind of leniency. It’s something he hopes the parole board will also see.

“I hope they will deny his parole and he will be kept in prison where he belongs. That Is my hope and desire. Again, it’s inconceivable that such a horrific, horrendous, and heinous crime, that any individual would be rewarded with one day less than what he needs and supposed to serve for this offense,” Skinner said.

At last word, Galbraith was a person of interest in the Vernon Parish homicides of Pamela Miller in 1989 and Tammy Call in 1990. His parole hearing is set for Wednesday, May 24.