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'I can't move past': Family of Rebecca Kerr fighting to keep Stark County killer in prison

Kerr was shot to death in 1980 after being abducted
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Posted at 6:28 PM, Aug 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-23 15:21:32-04

PERRY TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Melissa Kerr-Binius was only 8-years-old when she witnessed her mother's murder in a gas station parking lot in Perry Township.

Rebecca Kerr was shot multiple times near the intersection of Perry Drive Southwest and Southway Street Southwest on February 15, 1980.

While Kerr-Binius doesn't have many memories of her mom, she remembers exactly what happened on that tragic day.

"Every second. I can close my eyes and see it all replay. That's never gone away."

Kerr-Binius, now 50-years-old and a married grandmother, is determined to keep the killer, Lincoln Mabry, in prison until the day he dies.

"I can't forgive. I can't forget. I can't move past," she said. "He knows all the things that he did and he knows his evil and he deserves to be where he is."

According to Kerr-Binius, Mabry followed Rebecca from her job to the home of the family's babysitter.

Kerr-Binius recalls Mabry forcing her and her mom back into Rebecca's car. She drove to the gas station and tried to run from the car, but that's when Mabry opened fire.

"I remember her jumping out and him jumping out after her and shooting and then telling me, "Go on, go out there with your mom.'"

Mabry was sentenced to 15 years to life. He was denied parole in 2017.

On September 1, a parole board hearing panel will determine if Mabry should go before the full parole board. If that happens, he could be released from prison, which Kerr-Binius can't imagine.

"I don't know what that would mean to me. I try not to think about that," she said.

Rebecca's family has started a petition asking for signatures to block a potential parole. Kerr-Binius has also been sharing the petition on social media.

Click to sign the petition.

"The more people that respond to the parole board and react to this situation, the more likely they are to decide that he needs to remain in prison," she said.

Kerr-Binius believes Mabry, who is now 81-years-old, deserves to die behind bars and her fight to keep him locked up is for the mom she barely knew.

"I think she would be proud because that's the only reason I'm doing it is for her justice because, boy, it's a tough thing to do."

Stark County Prosecutor Kyle Stone said his office will be submitting a letter to the Ohio Parole Board opposing Mabry's release.