Morris and Seawright denied parole

Published 4:26 pm Wednesday, March 22, 2023

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The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles denied parole to two men convicted in 1990 of a Butler County murder.

Jim Morris, 67, and Eric Seawright, 53 petitioned the board with their first parole request in 33 years and were denied parole on March 9.

Both men were convicted on Nov. 15, 1990 for the Aug. 15, 1989 murder of Sidney James Langford, who was discovered dead in his Greenville home. According to District Court reports, Langford’s 1989 Buick Skylark was discovered missing at that time.

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District Attorney Charlotte Tesmer said the decisions, coupled with the March 2 denial of parole for Thomas Smith, were good news for Butler County residents.

“Eric Seawright and Jim Morris were denied parole,” Tesmer said. “The men were convicted of killing Mr. Langford. They killed him and took his car. They were caught in Florida. So, we’ve had three really good outcomes.”

Each is serving a life sentence for the murder. Morris is serving a consecutive 20 year sentence for first  degree robbery while Seawright serves two consecutive terms for burglary in the third degree and receiving stolen property in the second degree.

The board heard statements from speakers who offered information for and against the inmate’s parole requests. Seawright’s brother and sister, Randy and Annie petitioned the board for his parole. Doris Hancock with Victims of Crimes and Leniency (VOCAL) spoke against Seawright’s release as did the Attorney General’s Victims Service Officer (VSO) Sarah Green and District Attorney Charlotte Tesmer’s VSO Anna Findley.

Speaking against Morris’s release were Hancock, Green, and Findley.

Seawright is housed at the Limestone Correctional Center and Morris is serving his sentence at the Bibb County Correctional Facility. Each is eligible for parole consideration in 2028.

According to Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles Communications Director Matthew Estes, the men were among 22 inmates who petitioned the board for parole and 11 who requested pardon for their crimes. The board granted parole to one inmate, denied 21 parole requests, and continued two for further consideration.

Pardon was granted to 6 petitioners, denied to five, and continued for one request.