NATICK, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Parole Board has unanimously voted that a man sentenced for killing five members of a Springfield family is suitable for parole.

In 1985 Clarence Carter was a 17-year-old Springfield resident. According to the information found in the parole board decision, on December 2, 1985 Carter broke into and set fire to the home of his former girlfriend 16-year old Renee McKoy after she broke up with him. McKoy and four of her family members were killed. He was charged with five counts of second-degree murder and one count each of arson and burglary.

Carter pleaded guilty to 5 counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Renee McKoy, her 22-month-old daughter Cassandra McKoy, her 3-year-old nephew Joseph Blanks, her 19-year-old brother Gerald McKoy, and her 39-year-old mother Barbara McKoy. He was sentenced to five concurrent life sentences with the possibility of parole.

Carter has been denied parole four times, in 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016. He postponed his review hearing in 2021.

He went before the board for a review on September 20, 2022. The board made the decision to approve parole on January 12, 2023, after considering his age at the time of the crime and lack of criminal record, as well as his behavior while incarcerated, and rehabilitation efforts.

There are special conditions attached to his parole including a curfew, electronic monitoring, drug and alcohol testing, counseling, regular contact with his parole officer, and no contact with the victims’ families.