Convicted killers on parole arrested for armed robberies

Two men arrested in a string of armed robberies in Dallas over the last two weeks are no strangers to violent crime. Both are convicted murders who were recently paroled.

Police say Royneco Harris and Cortney Woods are two of the suspects in at least two armed robberies in old East Dallas and downtown.

The suspects are now 18 years old. But when they were 14, they took part in the robbery and murder of Octavius Lanier, who was shoved into a DART train in 2011.

Lanier was on his way to a medical clinic when he was attacked at the MLK DART station by as many as eight kids for his iPod.

Four of the kids beat Lanier, who was shoved into the side of a train that dragged and killed him.

The attackers were between the ages of 12 and 14 and were handed sentences that ranged from seven to 30 years in the juvenile in spite of the victim's mother, who had hoped for more.

Less than five years after the murder, Dallas police say two of the killers are out on parole and face new robbery charges.

Defense attorney, and former prosecutor, Toby Shook is not involved in the case. But he says he's not surprised the suspects were already released from prison.

“When they incarcerate someone for a very serious crime, they still put a lot of programs in place,” he said. “And their goal is to get that juvenile back in society and not put them in prison.”

Shook says the option of parole could have come up within about three years or as the men turned 18.

That's when a judge would consider reports on the juvenile's behavior behind bars when deciding between adult prison or parole.

“If a juvenile doesn't commit crimes while in youth prison, completes the program, does schooling, does what he's supposed to do, they usually recommend release on parole even though it’s a very serious crime,” explained Shook.

With the most recent accusations, Royneco Harris and Cortney Woods are back behind bars, facing aggravated robbery charges.

Considering their history, they're also facing a parole revocation, ending what was supposed to be a second chance for two young convicted killers.

A parole violation could send them to adult prison for many more years.

The family of the victim in the 2011 murder said they didn't want to comment on the most recent arrests.