Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

February 20, 2014

LaSala denied parole

Judge denies request for Mercer woman who stabbed father 107 times

WEST COLUMBIA — A Mercer County woman who made national news after putting her home confinement anklet on a cat, and was later convicted of first-degree murder, was denied parole Wednesday.

Kayla LaSala was 14 when she stabbed her father, Steven Michael LaSala, 107 times in February 2004. She was placed on home confinement after being arrested, but she fled the county after removing the tracking device from her ankle and gluing it to a family cat.

The case became national news and was featured in August 2004 on the television show “America’s Most Wanted” hosted by John Walsh. LaSala was among the fugitives featured during that episode and it produced tips leading to her whereabouts.

LaSala was found living in Florida with a man she had met on the Internet. She was extradited back to West Virginia and later tried in Mercer County Circuit Court on a charge of first-degree murder. She was convicted, and later sentenced in April 2005 to 25 years in prison.

A parole hearing was conducted Wednesday at the Lakin Correctional Center in Mason County. A judge denied her parole, but her case could be considered again within a year, according to information at the correctional center.

The hearing conducted Wednesday was not the first time that LaSala has asked to be released. In May 2008, when she was 18 years old, she appeared for a statutory hearing before Mercer County Circuit Judge Derek Swope to determine whether she should be transferred to an adult prison or allowed to continue rehabilitation treatment in an outside facility. Swope ruled that she should remain in custody. Members of Steven Michael LaSala’s family urged the judge to keep her incarcerated. One of the victim’s nieces described Kayla LaSala as “a psychopath, a liar and manipulative.”

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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