MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — On an April night in 1982, a Martin County teenager was killed working late one night at a convenience store.
A judge determined Friday that one of the killers, previously sentenced to death twice for the crime, would now serve a life sentence with the possibility of parole.
The decision brought disbelief and disappointment to Sally Slater, the mother of the victim.
"It will probably never be resolved," she said Monday.
Slater has been to court 38 times in the past 41 years, which is more times than she'd care to count.
"We've been to the federal courts," Slater said. "We've been to Tallahassee. … We've been to it all."
Most recently, she was in a Martin County courtroom on Friday where JB "Pig" Parker, now 60, was ordered to serve a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 25 years.
In 1982, Parker and three accomplices kidnapped Slater's daughter, Frances Slater, who was then 18 years old, from a Stuart convenience store where she worked.
The attackers stabbed, shot her, then dumped her body on a remote roadway.
Of the four men involved, one was executed in 1996, another sits on death row and a third is in the St. Lucie County jail.
Slater, now in her 80s, had the chance to see Parker face-to-face again last week.
"I showed the picture of Frannie and Cathy, and I said, 'This is Frannie. This is Cathy,'" Slater said. "I said, 'Not only did you murder Frannie by shooting her in the back of the head, you murdered her other twin because she couldn't live without her identical twin sister.'"
None of the four men ever confessed to firing the fatal shot in court.
Prosecutors told family members that they had to withdraw the death penalty for Parker now because time had eroded some of the evidence in the case.
"I'm still trying but what can I do," sighed Slater. "I can't fight the state."
Parker was eligible for a new death penalty resentencing because the jury did not make a unanimous death penalty recommendation in either of his two trials.
The family was hoping that a bill making its way through the state Legislature, now requiring only 8 of 12 jurors to recommend death, could help in their case.
However, attorneys told them it wouldn't help.
"We just have to sit here until the parole hearing comes up," Slater said. "It could be tomorrow. It could be five years from now. I don't know."
Now she must wait again for another hearing, adding to a scrapbook documenting four decades of family history and heartbreak.