Parole denied for convicted murderer

Staff Report

POMEROY — Parole has been denied for a man convicted of the murder of a father and son in Meigs County more than 20 years ago.

According to a release from Meigs County Prosecutor’s James K. Stanley, in June 2017, Fred Drennan requested a parole board hearing.

Drennan is serving a life sentence for the murders of Jeff Halley and his then 12-year-old son Jeff Halley Jr.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections Adult Parole Authority requested recommendations from the Meigs County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office regarding the matter.

Stanley provided the following in response:

While I was not the prosecuting attorney who handled the Fred Drennan case, as representative of the people of Meigs County and the State of Ohio, I take very seriously my responsibility as it relates to making recommendations to the Parole Board. As you know, Drennan was convicted of aggravated murder and sentenced to life in prison. To date, he has served approximately twenty-four years. It is my position and my request that parole be denied for Drennan.

The facts of this case are quite gruesome, and Fred Drennan’s actions led to the murder of both Jeff Halley and his twelve-year-old son, Jeff Halley, Jr. Drennan acted in concert with his accomplice, William Lemaster, to murder the Halleys. Drennan brought the firearm and extra ammunition to the scene of the crime. Drennan loaded the firearm. Drennan’s vehicle was used to transport the Halleys to the scene of the crime under the guise of a drug deal. Once at the scene, both Halleys were shot in the head execution-style. Drennan then drove the bodies from the scene and assisted his accomplice in the disposal of the bodies. While Drennan eventually changed his plea and assisted the State in its prosecution of his accomplice, Drennan was not initially cooperative with the State, and he repeatedly lied to investigators while the bodies of the Halleys decomposed in the elements. The bodies of the Halleys and weapons were eventually discovered without assistance from Drennan. For his part, William Lemaster was convicted of aggravated murder as well, and was sentenced to ninety-six years in prison.

Fred Drennan helped end the life of not only Jeff Halley, but also of his very young son, Jeff Halley, Jr. Anytime a defendant steals away the life of another, the defendant deserves a severe sentence. However, a murder is especially heinous when the victim is an innocent child. That child, Jeff Halley, Jr., would now have been in his late thirties, and he very likely would have children of his own. Drennan had no mercy for the Halleys, and especially for Jeff Halley, Jr. In turn, my office has no mercy for Drennan. I have vowed to protect and to seek justice for all victims of crime, but especially for child victims. Ensuring Drennan remains in prison for his stated term of life is the only way to ensure justice continues to be served for the Halleys. Drennan must be punished for his actions, and twenty-four years in prison is not adequate punishment for his role in two aggravated murders. Thus, I convey to you my strongest objection to Fred Drennan being granted parole for the aggravated murder of Jeff Halley and Jeff Halley, Jr.

Drennan remains incarcerated, but is scheduled for another parole hearing in April 2022.

Information provided by the Meigs County Prosecutor’s Office.

Staff Report