The mother of an 11-year-old boy killed four decades ago wants to send a message to the parole board schedule to decide on freeing one of the men who murdered him: Do not let him walk the streets again.

Hazel Phillips was in tears at the thought of Nathan Brown being free again.  She told NewsChannel 6 she fears for her family and people she does not know. 

Her current battle remains; forgiveness. 

“The closest I can come in my 76 years is I don’t hate them,” she explained. 

Forgiving the men who murdered her 11-year-old son Bonnie Bullock is something Hazel Phillips said she’s still working to achieve.

“They told them if you just lay down on the ground and put your hands behind you we ‘gon let you and your son live,” Phillips said of the night the men tore her heart right out of her.  

Phillips’ son was with his stepfather, Henry Phillips, during his night shift at this gas station off I-20 in Taliaferro County.  She said her husband worked 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. and their son would join him sometimes.  On the night of July 26, 1976, three men entered the service station, robbed it, and kidnapped Phillips and his stepson.   Phillips said the men drove both of them to a logging road in Crawfordville.  Both were shot.  Bonnie died and Henry survived with the bullet remaining in his head.  Phillips said he never really talks about that night and she only heard his testimony in court about three times. It was a moment that turned the low crime, sleepy town they were used to into a three year nightmare.

“Somebody shot in my house, shot my house up.  My children lived in terror until they tried the last one of them,” she said of the years during trial.  “It just sort of stopped.  But you still was in terror, you never knew when they were coming.”

Nathan Brown , Judson Ruffin and Jose High were arrested for Bullock’s murder.  And Phillips said it took about a month for that to happen. Jose High was executed by lethal injection in 2001, while Ruffin and Brown are serving life sentences.  Now, Phillips said Brown is up for parole in October and she’s keeping the news from her husband who she feels could die if he knew.  But Phillips told us she fears that since he became a Christian behind bars, he’s going to get out and return to Augusta. 

“If he kills a black child, white child, Asian child, Hispanic child, grandmother, grandfather, father, mother, sister, brother, I will hold each and every one of them personally responsible.”

Phillips said she does not feel like Brown can change, calling him a psychopath who laughed after teh crime was done, took a nap and wasn’t under the influence of any substances. She added the gas station massacre sparked a killing spree; one that left others raped and for dead. 

We spoke with Hazel Phillips back in 2001 too.  “I want to make it easier for the DAs to try a death penalty case,” she said then. 

Also, spent the past 42 years working to help protect other families, including becoming pen pals with Ronald Reagan and getting him to have the Justice Department to research the case.   

She feels even now she is helping others, keeping her son’s story alive and his killers in prison for life.  

“There were four other victims that survived with horrible, horrible things done to them.  I worry about the people I don’t know.”

We also spoke with Phillips’ other son who was just two-years-old when Bonnie was killed.  He told us Brown has the option to be up for parole, but his parents, Henry and Hazel Phillips will never be up for parole because they live in their own personal prison of grief and fear.

Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins