Convicted of murder, inmate starts mentor program - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Convicted of murder, inmate starts mentor program

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In 1997, 18-year-old Labron Neal was convicted of gunning down two Carbondale teens (Source: IDOC). In 1997, 18-year-old Labron Neal was convicted of gunning down two Carbondale teens (Source: IDOC).
For the last 18 years, twice a day, Gibbs talks to her son on the phone. For the last 18 years, twice a day, Gibbs talks to her son on the phone.
To this day, his mom still thinks he was wrongfully accused. To this day, his mom still thinks he was wrongfully accused.
However, she said her son has changed and doing more good behind bars then he ever did before he was a prisoner. However, she said her son has changed and doing more good behind bars then he ever did before he was a prisoner.
CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - In 1997, 18-year-old Labron Neal was convicted of gunning down two Carbondale teens at a mobile home park.

The case shocked the entire community; the victims: 15-year-old James Austin Campbell and 16-year-old Terrance Mitchell.

Eighteen years later, while serving life in prison without parole, Neal said he is a changed man and is working to right the wrongs.

The trial itself was just as emotional for everyone involved.

Neal's first trial ended in a hung jury, the second trial involved emotional testimonies from the victim's family and Neal's and over 25 hours of jury deliberations.

To this day, his mom still thinks he was wrongfully accused.

However, she said her son has changed and doing more good behind bars then he ever did before he was a prisoner.

"It made him a better person, he didn't get harsh, he could have been bitter from it, but he did not," said Luzetta Gibbs, Labron Neal's mom.

No one knows more about a child than their mother.

For the last 18 years, twice a day, Gibbs talks to her son on the phone.

"I hear all the time about the crime in the community and the different violence that is going on," said Neal.

That's how the "The Fall Back Movement" was created.

For months, the mother and son duo have planned to bring the Carbondale community together and encourage kids and adults to stay away from gangs, violence and drugs.

"If I wanted to run a drug operation from my jail cell, I could do that. If I wanted to run a gang from my jail cell I could do that. So if a person can use their intelligence to run a criminal enterprise from a jail cell, why can't I take the same intelligence and do something good from a jail cell,” said Neal.

Luzetta said no mother should have to go through what her family and the victim's family went through.

Which is why she hopes her son's story is a lesson for everyone.

"Everything happens for a reason, you know, it brought good out of it,” she said.

The Fall Back Movement has received recognition from Governor Pat Quinn.

There will be an event on Saturday, Aug. 16 at Attucks Park starting at 1.

Everyone is invited to attend.

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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