Maryville mother finds new ammunition for Amelia’s Law

"It's almost every day I find out something new about this man's history that just makes it, it's almost to the point of it's bizarre," Amanda Moore said.

LOUISVILLE (WATE) – During a meeting Wednesday with Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, Amanda Moore received a copy of John Perkins’ probation and parole reports. He crashed into her 16-year-old daughter, Amelia Keown, head-on, killing her instantly.

The contents of the reports surprised Moore,  making her fight even harder to get Amelia’s Law on the books.

“It says he has significantly anti-social tendencies,” Moore said. “He stated that he had a cocaine and marijuana dependence. This was 13 days before they released him. With him telling them that he had no remorse for what he had done, which is clearly not a rehabilitated person.”

The file is thick, and Moore says it draws attention to several flaws in the system that let Perkins out on the streets well before the end of his sentence.

“The state of Tennessee killed my daughter just as much as he did. All these steps along the way, all these things that at any time if one person had said no or we need to report this or, when he got caught shoplifting.”

Moore has contacted her state Sen. Doug Overbey (R-Maryville) for help to make Amelia’s Law a reality.

“I think we can do better with regard to our sentencing laws in Tennessee, as this matter has demonstrated are weak and too lenient,” Overbey said.

For Moore, that means a dramatic change in the law. “It’s almost every day I find out something new about this man’s history that just makes it, it’s almost to the point of it’s bizarre. All the stuff he did, all the stuff he got away with, and all the stuff the state did,” Moore said.

6 News called the Probation and Parole Board Friday to hear their side. A statement from Communications Director Melissa McDonald said Perkins first became eligible for parole in 2006. Parole was denied during that hearing, and in two subsequent hearings in 2007 and 2008.

In 2009, the board granted Perkins’ release, based on time served and the progress he made while he was incarcerated.

The statement adds that Perkins had “served several months beyond the average time offenders serve for convictions like he had. Additionally, all state statutes and decision-making rules were followed in making the decision to grant parole in this case.”

Moore is set to meet with Overbey and state Rep. Bob Ramsey (R-Maryville) at the end of next week about Amelia’s Law.

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