TALLAHASSEE — Sentenced to life in prison as a 14-year-old for his role in a double murder in Pasco County in 1992, Timothy Kane was given a scheduled release date next February by the Florida Commission on Offender Review Wednesday.
It was a highly unusual decision by the three-person commission, whose staff had recommended a release date of 2027.
"This is a case I've never handled before in this way," said chairman Melinda Coonrod. "I have to say this is the one and only time I've ever said, if the rules allowed us, I would parole him today."
The case was bolstered by the surprise appearance of Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe, who said it was the first time in his career he had argued before the commission on behalf of an inmate's release. McCabe said he became interested in the case after reading a Tampa Bay Times story about Kane earlier this year.
Kane and two other teenagers were convicted of murder after a burglary went bad and a homeowner and his mother were killed in January 1992.
Kane cowered in the kitchen and did not take part in the killings, but was tried for murder for taking part in a felony that resulted in death.
If the commission gives final approval in November to the Feb. 23 release date it set Wednesday, Kane, now 38, will spend 18 months in transitional programs before being released in 2018.