A man who spent more than a decade in prison for second-degree murder was one of the three people recently elected to a school board in Colorado.
Thomas Seaba was released from a North Carolina prison in 2010 after serving over 11 years for the death of a fellow Marine.
“It was obviously a set of horrific mistakes compounding on one another, which led to me serving time in prison,” Seaba told KKTV about the 1997 murder.
Col. Donnie Worrell told the outlet that Seaba shot the victim in the back of the head, and then later returned to shoot the man four more times. Seaba said he was initially arrested on first-degree murder, but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.
Worrell said it was a “cold-blooded killing.”
Seaba, who works as the head of the waste water department for La Junita, said ever since his release he’s been dedicated to giving back to his community. His wife, Julia, is a teacher in the area.
Later this month, he will be one of the newly elected members sworn into office on the East Otero School District Board of Education.
The superintendent for the district told KKTV that Seaba was one of the top two voted in, and his past criminal record didn’t prevent him from running.
“To me, it’s just a natural extension of the community volunteerism and service that I’ve tried to conduct the majority of my life,” Seaba told KOAA.
La Junita city manager Rick Klein, who gave Seaba a job after he was released from prison, told the outlet that he believes in people getting second chances.
“If you are a good person and something bad happened to you, or whatever, do the time but spend the rest of your life making it right. Thomas has done that,” he said.