An Andalusia man convicted of killing three people in 1996 will stay in prison. The state parole board made that decision after the victims' families spent weeks petitioning to keep him behind bars.
It's a day three families have been waiting for a long time -- and they're relieved that Ethan Eugene Dorsey will stay in prison for a triple murder in Conecuh County.
"Unless you've been though it, you just don't know," described Hazel Williams Carter, sister of one of the victims, Scott Williams.
While it wasn't their first time in a court room, it was the first time these families stood before the state parole board.
It all goes back to 1996 -- when prosecutors say two Andalusia men, Ethan Eugene Dorsey and Calvin Middleton, planned to rob a country store in the community of Brooklyn.
That's when investigators say they ran into 13-year-old Timothy Bryan Crane, Richard Cary and Scott Williams. All three were shot to death.
"Mr. Cary, owner of the store, [was] outside. We had Mr. Bryan Crane... was lying in the door partially in the store outside. And Scott Williams, who was working the store, lying in front of the store cabinet counter," Said ABI investigator, Simon Benson, who was on the case in 1996. He described the store as "ramshacked."
"It's like it happened yesterday. Even though it's been 17 years, to come up here and have to speak... you re-live everything all over again," Said Richard Cary's son, Brad Cary.
Middleton received life in prison without parole, but Dorsey received parole eligibility -- and that's why family and friends of the victims went to the parole board to see if he would be given another chance at freedom.
"We understand that you want to make sure that nothing happens in this situation," Said a member of the parole board. "It's just impossible now. I think [Dorsey] is going to be, as VOCAL says, in 'Pine Buck' parole."
Ben Crane was 9-years-old when his 13- year-old brother was murdered. He says in prison is where Dorsey belongs.
"Bryan was my only brother. [I] didn't have nobody to play with really and like I said, Christmas, all the holidays, we miss him every year. Everybody," Said Bryan Crane's brother, Ben Crane.
But it's a tragedy this family says has brought them all together.
"And we've become like sisters and brothers, all these families now because of what happened," Said Hazel Williams Carter, Scott Williams' sister.
Before the parole hearing, the family and friends of the victims petitioned across the state and in Florida, as well. They had over 4,000 signatures.
Dorsey will next be eligible for parole in 2018.