Mother of killed officer pleads for her daughter’s convicted killer to stay behind bars
ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- A local mother is fighting to keep the man who killed her daughter behind bars.
It was a case that shook St. Louis in 2019.
But now, the mother of former St. Louis Police Officer Katlyn Alix says the fellow officer who pulled the trigger is getting off too easy and could soon be walking free.
“When we lost Katie, we lost the best person in the whole world,” said Katlyn Alix’s mother Aimee.
“She was strong when she had to be strong, but she was anyone and everyone’s best friend,” she said.
Her death is still shocking.
“Yes, very hard. It’s very painful,” Aimee said.
It was January 2019. Alix was off duty, but two of her fellow officers were supposed to be out patrolling. Instead, they were in another district and at the home of Officer Nathaniel Hendren in South City.
Prosecutors called it a Russian roulette style-game.
Hendren fired a gun and shot Alix in the chest.
“Seeing Katie on the table, my whole world stopped,” she said.
Hendren turned himself in and was charged with involuntary manslaughter.
In February 2020, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
His attorney at the time said that Hendren was truly sorry.
“What didn’t come through today was how much Nate cared for Katlyn, they were friends, they had ridden together,” Talmadge Newston said after the hearing in 2020. “He is deeply affected by this.”
“He should have gotten life in prison if it was up to me,” said Aimee.
Aimee says she now wishes she hadn’t accepted the plea.
The Missouri Parole Board sent her a letter indicating Hendren could soon be released.
“Two years and 10 months is not long enough for a life,” said Aimee. “She doesn’t get a life anymore. But he gets to get out, get married, possibly have children, go on with his life but our lives are a living hell every day,” she said.
What’s worse, she says: she’s been told she cannot even testify in person at Hendren’s October parole hearing.
“We don’t get to, we get a phone call, that’s it,” she said.
And she has no idea where he is behind bars.
A Missouri Department of Corrections spokesperson told News 4: “He is no longer in Missouri. He has been transferred to another state.”
But they will not tell us, nor Aimee, which state.
Even our search of all 50 states’ inmate databases would not reveal his whereabouts.
The reason? He was transferred as part of an Interstate Corrections Compact, wherein former law enforcement officers may be transferred for their own safety.
A corrections spokesperson wrote “reporting the location of an offender would further jeopardize safety.”
“There are always safety protocols when a law enforcement officer is incarcerated,” said corrections expert Scott Anders.
He says all 50 states now participate in the interstate compact, though in most cases the public does have a right to know where the inmate is.
“It allows the states to share information and all that is very important,” Anders said.
Aimee says Hendren shouldn’t have more rights than she does.
“I think he’s had special privileges from day one and he still gets them from day one. I understand he was a police officer, but my daughter was a police officer, too,” she said.
She’s making it her fight to gather signatures on a petition and ask for the public to write letters to the Parole Board.
“There is something we should be able to do to keep him in.
She wants to hand deliver them and face the Parole Board in person.
“I would travel, I would go wherever, as any parent would,” she said.
“What do you want to tell those parole board members?” asked Chief Investigative Reporter Lauren Trager. “I want to tell them we grieve every day. I am still kissing her picture good morning and goodnight every single day,” she said.
“The special moments are not special anymore. Because one child is missing,” she said. She believes he should serve the full seven years.
“I think he should be held accountable for everything he did that night. He was out of district, he was drinking on the job. If he was working, doing what the taxpayers paid him to do, this would not have happened, my daughter would still be here today.”
And someday, she hopes to even sit down with Hendren himself.
“The only one who will give me closure is Nate,” Aimee said.
We reached out to the lawyer representing Hendren, who said they had no comment.
Despite repeated requests, the Parole Board did not provide an interview. But they confirmed the victim’s family cannot attend the hearing in person. They can, however, submit a video statement and speak to the board via phone.
They will also accept letters of support or opposition.
You can submit letters in opposition of his parole directly to Aimee through email at MemoryofKatieAlix@gmail.com.
You can sign Aimee’s petition, here: Petition Opposing Parole
Letters in support of parole can be sent to the Parole Board directly.
The hearing is October 24. Parole hearings are not open to the public, but News 4 will work to get the information on what occurred and let you know as soon as possible.
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