June 20, 2006
A former University of Virginia student who stabbed an Albemarle County firefighter to death in 2003 will walk out of prison a free man tomorrow.
After serving about 2 and a half years on a voluntary manslaughter conviction Department of Corrections officials say tomorrow Andrew Alston is going to be released.
Alston was convicted of stabbing Walker Sisk 20 times in a drunken fight in 2003. November will mark three years since Sisk's murder and his friends remember the volunteer fire fighter as good person who cared about others.
“It’s hard to find the good in it, maybe he was just too much of a person to be here,” said Lauren Lowe, Walker’s childhood friend.
Alston was sentenced to three years and will walk out of prison tomorrow 5 months early.
“We'll never see Walker again and he's walking out like nothing happened. He doesn't deserve to go free, said Gail Lowe who has known Walker since he was in kindergarten.
“Punished three years for killing someone it blows my mind,” said Lauren Lowe.
The Charlottesville Assistant Commonwealth’s attorney who tried the case said although some people may not agree with the sentence we have to respect it.
“Its no secret I’d like to have seen him do more time. I asked for more time but the simple fact is he's done his time,” said Jon Zug.
Alston is appealing his post release supervision. His lawyer says the judge's ruling to make him abstain from alcohol and take substance abuse programs for three years following his release is over and above the jury's decision and therefore unconstitutional.
“Why on earth wouldn't he want to abide by conditions set by Judge Hogshire unless he is the person that we depicted him, a violent individual,” said Zug.
That's just one legal battle Alston will fight. Walker Sisk's father has filed a multi-million dollar civil suit against Alston. But friends say none of that can bring Walker back.
“Walker would just want us to remember him as the good hearted good fellow he was and we'll always keep Walker in our memories,” said Gail Lowe.
Sisk’s father spoke with us off camera and said he's disappointed Alston served only two thirds of his sentence and he believes there's been a break down in the criminal justice system here.