By Nikki Gaskins
GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV)—There's not a day that goes by that Shirley Ward of Goose Creek doesn't think about the senseless murder of her father. Thirty years ago, 63-year-old Martin Cattles, was shot to death by a man named Kenneth Green who was 22-years-old at the time.
"On October 23, 1982 Daddy went deer hunting, and on Sunday we had a birthday party for my oldest son. Daddy didn't come home, so we reported him missing," stated Ward.
After her dad failed to show up at the party, her husband and one of her brothers decided to search for Cattles.
"They found him on Highway 61 in Dorchester County off of one of the back roads near Middleton Pine Gardens," said Ward.
The two men found Cattles dead inside his truck from a gunshot wound to the head. Kenneth Green was named the suspect. According to Ward, her dad had only known Green briefly, having just met him at bar while playing pool.
"Daddy had too much to drink, and he asked him to drive him home," said Ward. "I understand Kenneth shot Daddy just six feet away through the side of his head. He was killed for $20. His shotgun was taken, his hunting stool, wallet, two credit cards, and some cash."
Ward says shortly after the crime, Green went to a friend's house.
"He threw Daddy's gun on a bed and the friend asked ‘where did the gun come from?'" said Ward. "Kenneth said I took it off a dead man and blew his head off."
It wasn't long after that confession to the friend that Ward says Green was arrested by Dorchester County deputies.
Cattles left behind a wife and eight kids. Green was sentenced to life in prison. Because of good behavior, he became eligible for parole after 16 years.
"It still hurts. We've been going to Kenneth's parole hearings for about 14 years to fight his parole. Every year it hurts, but it's worth it to go through all this pain to make sure he stays in there."
Since his incarceration, Ward says Green has married and to this day doesn't appear truly remorseful for his actions.
"When we go to the parole hearings, sometimes he says he didn't do it. Other times he's sorry he did it. One time he says his family is getting older and needs to get out. My dad never had a chance to get older," says Ward.
Green has a parole hearing in Columbia on January 30. Ward has started an on-line petition in an effort to keep her dad's killer behind bars.