Man convicted of killing Topeka toddler in 1995 up for a fourth parole

Published: Aug. 28, 2020 at 6:29 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A man serving life in prison for the 1995 murder of a two-year-old Topeka boy is up for parole for the fourth time.

The toddler’s relatives sat in front of the Prisoner Review Board Friday to explain why they believe his convicted killer should remain behind bars.

Two-year-old Cain Baker died in October of 1995 after he was beaten in a Topeka apartment.

Glenn Heath, who was engaged to the toddler’s mother at the time, was convicted of the murder.

25 years later, Cain’s relatives are recounting the tragedy to keep Heath behind bars.

“The hardest is when you get a letter for a parole hearing. You relive it all,” said Cain’s grandma, Dee Smart.

His aunt, Cheri Vatchler echoed that saying, “The only time we really have to think about those tragic final days of Cain’s life is when we come to these parole hearings.”

The Prisoner Review Board has denied Heath parole three times before, saying he’s not accepted responsibility.

Cain’s family worries this time the outcome could be different, as Heath has taken part in the state’s work-release program.

“I’ve talked to law enforcement and they said when somebody goes out on work release, they’re preparing them to go out into the real world to be a citizen in the community and that scares me,” said Cain’s aunt Melissa Carroll.

Vatchler said they will continue to be a voice for Cain.

“Cain didn’t have a voice and a lot of the toddlers out there they can’t speak for themselves,” she continued saying, “I always think that when we turn our heads to child abuse, the real enabler is the silence that people choose to have because no one wants to get involved.”

Heath’s mother was also at Friday’s public comment. She maintains her son did not do it.

If the board grants parole, Heath could be released as early as October 1st.

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