RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) – A Forsyth County man denied parole earlier this year under one program has been granted parole from a life sentence in prison after further consideration.

Marvin L. Little, 53, imprisoned since 1991 on a charge of second-degree murder in Forsyth County Superior Court, will be paroled, the North Carolina Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission announced in a release Friday.

Marvin L. Little

The commission, which for months has been granting parole for some inmates convicted of crimes that occurred before October 1994, had announced in late December that Little had failed to meeting the parole requirements of the Mutual Agreement Parole Program, a scholastic and vocational program that is a three-way agreement among the commission, the Division of Prisons and the offender.

But Leigh Kent, lead parole case specialist for the commission, said then that Little, who had been evaluated for parole for 18 years, would be considered for regular parole.

The announcement Friday did not include a release date, and those schedules can range from a few days to a few years, depending on the situation.

North Carolina abolished parole in cases involving murder and rape as of Oct. 1, 1994, and the commission has been charged with considering the parole of offenders who were sentenced under guidelines before that date. The commission sometimes seeks public comment on whether that parole should be granted.

Little was convicted on April 11, 1991, in Forsyth County Superior Court, but he was sentenced to three separate prison terms for second-degree murder and for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury. One of those terms – 30 years on the murder charge – was completed in 2004.

“When Mr. Little was convicted on 4-11-91 he received a 30-year sentence for 2nd Degree Murder and a consecutive Life sentence for 2nd Degree Murder and Assault with Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill Inflicting Serious Injury,” Kent wrote in an emailed response to questions earlier this month from WGHP. “He completed the 30-year sentence on 2-17-04, at which time his life sentence began.

“The Parole Commission has reviewed Mr. Little for parole annually from 2004 (at which time he became eligible for parole) to 2009. He has since been reviewed for parole every 3 years due to the change in the parole laws that offenders serving sentences for murder are only reviewed every 3 years.”

Little was 20 years old on Aug. 4, 1990, when he was charged with the slaying of Malcolm Lamar Watson, 29, who was shot to death when he stepped outside his apartment in the Salem Garden Apartments in Winston-Salem to stop a fight, police said.

Little, whose only prior criminal record was probation in July 1988, when he was 18, for a theft charge, most recently has been housed at the Johnston Correctional Institution in Smithfield.