Her death helped change parole laws, but her killer could still go free

FORT WRIGHT, Ky. -- When Barbara Briede returned home from church Sept. 20, 1992, it was to blood-soaked floors and horror. Her 26-year-old daughter, Lesley, lay beaten and stabbed to death in a bedroom, where her body showed 39 separate puncture wounds from multiple household implements.

It was one of the worst things then-police chief Gene Weaver had ever seen, he said Monday night.

"There was blood spattered throughout the room on the walls, the ceiling -- the floor was a pool of blood," he said. "This was truly a calculated, premeditated murder."

Weaver's investigation found Carlos Faulkner, who attended grade school with Lesley over a decade before, broke into the Briede home that morning and wielded the barbell -- and then the knife and then the scissors -- used to take her life.

"She was a very beautiful young lady that was very outgoing and made a friend with everybody," neighbor Gary Gluth said. "That was her greatest asset and probably her biggest downfall."

Before his conviction, Faulkner confessed to the crime: "If I couldn't have her," he told the court, "no one was going to have her."

Life without parole did not become a sentencing option for Kentucky judges and juries until 1998, when Briede's mother successfully lobbied for the passage of legislation that would prevent families like hers from watching their loved ones' killers go free. 

By then, however, Faulkner's trial was long since over and his sentence decided. He would become eligible for parole 25 years from the day of his conviction: Nov. 29, 2017.

Faulkner will appear before a parole board Nov. 29 to make the case for his own freedom, but Weaver and Gluth believe he deserves the sentence born from his crime. Fort Wright Mayor Dave Hatter joined them, calling for citizens to contact the parole board and voice their opposition to any possible release for Faulkner.

Anyone wishing to oppose Faulkner's parole eligibility should contact the Kentucky Division of Parole and Victim Services at pbvictimservices@ky.gov or at the following physical address:

P.O. Box 2400

Frankfort, Ky.

40602

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