A convicted murderer who was the key prosecution witness in a murder trial in London was denied parole Monday.

Donald Terry Bartley, 51, of Evarts in Harlan County, is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison after his request was unanimously denied by the Kentucky Parole Board.

Bartley pleaded guilty in 1987 for his part in the August 1985 murder of Tammy Dee Acker and the robbery and attempted murder of her father, Roscoe J. Acker. Bartley had testified in the the trial of Roger Epperson and Benny Lee Hodge that the three men killed Tammy Acker, 23, after robbing her father's safe in the Acker’s Letcher County home. They reportedly took close to $2 million from the safe. Tammy Acker was stabbed 12 times and her father survived attempted strangulation with an electrical cord.

Bartley also pleaded guilty to helping Epperson and Hodge murder a Jackson County couple two months before the Acker murder. Those 1987 convictions were overturned, and they were retried in 1996 in Laurel Circuit Court because of widespread publicity in Jackson County.

Epperson and Hodge are on death row. Bartley was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for at least 25 years. He is an inmate at North Point Training Center in Burgin.

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