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Convicted Murderer Petitions for Early Release

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Intelisano Has Served One Year of 61-Year Sentence

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – After just over a year in prison, convicted murderer, 76-year-old Leonard Intelisano from Houston County, has petitioned the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles for early review and release citing his age and deteriorating health.

Intelisano was convicted for the murder of Frank Thomas on Jan. 13, 2016. His trial began on July 9, 2018 and ran through July 19. He was found guilty by a Houston County jury and sentenced to 61 years in prison.

Sheila Cook Thomas, the wife of Frank Thomas, indicated she recently received a notification from the    Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Victim Services Division (VSD) “… that the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles is in the process of reviewing this offender for Medically Recommended Intensive Supervision (MRIS), which provides for possible early parole review and release of an offender.”

“This review does not mean the offender will be granted parole,” the TDCJ notification stated. “Each release must be approved by a Board panel. The MRIS process represents an effort to identify seriously impaired offenders and decide whether to release them to a more appropriate environment with supervision, provided such release does not constitute a threat to public safety.”

The TDCJ correspondence stated an incarcerated individual is eligible for an MRIS review parole panel if:

  • An offender is identified as being elderly, physically disabled, mentally ill, terminally ill, mentally retarded, or having a condition requiring long-term care, in a persistent vegetative state or being a person with organic brain syndrome with significant to total mobility impairment.
  • The parole panel determines that, based on the offender’s condition and medical evaluation, the offender does not constitute a threat to public safety.
  • A medically recommended intensive supervision plan that requires the offender to submit to electronic monitoring, places the offender on Super Intensive Supervision (SISP), or otherwise ensures appropriate supervision of the offender.

Thomas was informed the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles could review an MRIS case within just a few days, however, reviews are typically conducted within two or three weeks.

She was also told if she wished to protest the release of Intelisano, it must be done immediately and in writing.

Evidence presented at the trial showed Frank Thomas had basically been ambushed by Intelisano and co-defendant Brandon Hill. Thomas sustained three distinct gunshot wounds – one to his upper torso, one to his back and one to his face. The upper torso wound was from a shotgun and produced 18 points of entry or exit, possibly from a round of buck shot which contains nine pellets.

He survived for 16 days after the attack before he succumbed to his wounds.

Hill received 20 years for his part in the murder.

To provide input to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, contact Chris Burns at 512-406-5903 or Lloyd Bjorgo at 512-406-5928.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.