ATLANTA — The State Board of Pardon and Paroles recently denied parole for Dean B. Sorrells, 47.
In 1988, Sorrells was convicted of the murders of Osborn Clemmons, 34, and Constance Land, 36. Sorrells received two consecutive life sentences. Sorrells has served 20 years. This was his first parole consideration.
On Feb. 16, 1984, at approximately 10:30 p.m., Sorrells went to the home of Clemmons where he was also residing, and murdered Clemmons and Land as they slept. Sorrells shot both victims with a 16 gauge shotgun, Clemmons in the face and Land in the chest and the abdomen.
Sorrells then emptied Clemmons wallet and Land’s purse and left the residence in Clemmons’ truck.
Between Feb. 16, 1984, and Feb. 22, 1984, Sorrells returned to Clemmons’ residence on three occasions. On one of those occasions, Sorrells brought a guest who noticed a foul odor. Sorrells told the guest that the smell was from a dead animal under the house. Clemmons’ and Land’s bodies were finally discovered on Feb. 23, 1984.
The case was initially ruled an accident, but subsequently the bodies were exhumed. A lengthy investigation followed that lead to Sorrell’s arrest in February 1987.
Parole board member Robert R. Keller stated, “This crime was particularly cold blooded, especially in the way that Sorrells returned to the residence on a number of occasions while the bodies were still there. Even now, after 20 years, the details are very distressing. The impact of such violence is not lost on the board.”
Georgia statute requires that all inmates serving life sentences be considered for parole at specified intervals.
Consideration does not imply that parole will be granted. There are approximately 6,000 inmates serving life sentences in Georgia’s prison system. Approximately 50 percent of those cases have been reviewed and denied parole at least one time.
Sorrells is serving his sentence at Smith State Prison in Glennville.