PORT SALERNO, Fla. (AP) — A man who served time for aggravated manslaughter of a child and kidnapping-aggravated child abuse in the death of a 10-year-old Martin County girl in 1993 has been released from prison.
The News-Herald reports that after serving three years and five months of his 10-year sentence at the Dade Correctional Facility, Chester Duane Price was released Thursday.
According to state prison records, Price was released to the Florida Civil Commitment Center in Arcadia, which provides counseling in the hopes of reintegrating offenders back into society without recidivism.
The shorter incarceration is attributed to laws in effect at the time of the crime, according to prosecutors.
The case ended in a plea deal in early 2014. Price pleaded no contest to aggravated manslaughter and kidnapping. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Metzger sentenced Price to a 10-year term, minus the time he served in county jail.
The judge's sentencing included Price serving his sentences for kidnapping and aggravated manslaughter at the same time, rather than one after the other.
At the time, prosecutors said the case would have been difficult to prosecute because it was more than 20 years old, because another witness died and because officials were never able to find the girl's body.
On the evening of July 11, 1993, 10-year-old Andrea Parsons went to a grocery store in Port Salerno in Martin County to buy some candy and chips while her mother was working the night shift.
Authorities say Chester Price and accomplice Claude Davis grabbed Andrea as she was leaving the store, tossed her into a van.
Davis, who was arrested a few months after Andrea's disappearance, told police that Price grabbed Andrea, put her in the van and then tried to kiss her, but she bit his thumb and made him bleed. But Davis' story changed and charges against Davis were dropped for lack of evidence. Davis, who lived across the street from the Parsons family, died in 2013 and was never charged.
Price was arrested in 2012 after investigators traveled to Alabama to question him after he was charged in an unrelated assault case, according to records.
At the time of the sentencing, Andrea's mother, Linda Parsons, wrote a letter expressing her continued mourning and dissatisfaction Price would serve less than nine years in prison.
"The court system worked in your favor," she wrote in a letter to Price. "In a perfect world, you should have gotten the death penalty."