ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - It was a devastating day for a family who has long fought to keep a killer in prison. But late Tuesday afternoon, the family of Carol Stebbins learned David Francis Hoffman will walk free in 2 years. In the more than 35 years Hoffman has spent in prison, they don't feel he's shown remorse, and they don't feel safe.
Hoffman, 69, was sent to prison in 1980 for murdering his wife in their home in Corcoran, Minn. He dismembered her body, putting parts down the garbage disposal, and the rest in a lake.
FOX 9 INVESTIGATORS - 35 years later, family fights to keep killer in prison
“We shouldn't have to go through this again,” said Stebbens’ niece, Charity Larsen. “It shouldn't even be an issue. He shouldn't have a second chance. Carol never had a second chance.”
This is actually Hoffman's 5th chance, because under 1980 law, parole review for first degree murder came up after only 17 years. Carol's extended family waited as 5 family members pled their case to the parole board for the 5th time. 30 minutes later, they emerged with the worry that maybe this time, he'll get out.
“We're terrified. Terrified not just for us, not for our family, but terrified for the public.”
As is custom after each hearing, the family went to Carol's gravesite in Anoka to wait for the news with the most fear they've felt yet.
“I'd be afraid I'd be the first one he's going to come after, because we kept him in there,” said Phyllis Stebbins, Carol’s mother.
They would learn late Tuesday afternoon that Hoffman is indeed being paroled. He'll serve 2 more years, followed by intense supervised release in April 2018. Carol's family plans to somehow keep fighting to keep him in.