Family of deceased Wythe County Deputy Cliff Decker gathers to fight against killer’s parole

Cliff Dicker's family is concerned the man convicted of his murder could be granted parole
Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 5:39 PM EDT
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CHATHAM, Va. (WDBJ) - “When you have a police officer in your family and another officer shows up at your door, you know something is wrong,” said Karla Turman, daughter of deceased Wythe County Deputy Cliff Dicker.

December 6, 1994, Dicker was shot and killed by then-15-year-old Christopher Wheeler while serving a petition.

Wheeler pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 43 years in prison in 1996, but that day doesn’t feel like it was 25 years ago for Turman.

“I’ll never forget that day and that day is brought back and ripped from my memories every year when we go through this,” said Turman.

Since Wheeler killed Dicker before parole was abolished in Virginia in 1995, he’s been eligible for parole every year since 2003.

“We have to relive this every year, the loss of Cliff and fight to keep his killer in jail,” said stepdaughter LaRue-Ibrahim.

With the recent decision to grant parole to Vincent Martin in Richmond, Dicker’s family felt it was necessary to make their voices heard at the facility where Wheeler, who is now 40 years old, is in custody.

“This year was just really important for us to do everything we could to keep him where he is at,” said Turman.

Turman says Wheeler robbed her kids of having a loving grandfather; still, she forgave him.

“I had to forgive him a long time ago, it was for me, not for him, so I can have peace; that doesn’t mean I’m not anxious about him getting out,” said Turman.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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