The man police have said shot and killed Calloway County Deputy Jody Cash was twice denied parole due to the seriousness of his offenses, but later approved despite a history of violating his parole conditions and the involvement of firearms in his offenses, according to documents from the Kentucky Department of Corrections.
Prior to his final release on parole, Gary Rowland had never gone more than three months before being charged with violating his parole.
Rowland, 30, was shot to death by Marshall County deputies last month after drawing a concealed gun and shooting Cash after he was allowed a smoke break during an interview at the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, according to Kentucky State Police.
Between 2013 and 2017, the Kentucky Parole Board had paroled Rowland three times, and subsequently issued warrants for parole violation in each of those cases, before the first time he was denied parole in 2018, according to documents obtained under an open records request by The Sun.
Rowland was first recommended for parole in April of 2013, while he was serving a 12-year sentence for multiple convictions regarding stolen property and other offenses stemming from 2011.
He had previously been found in violation of his probation, which had been revoked when Circuit Judge Dennis Foust imposed that sentence.
The parole board documents don’t provide interview notes or rationale for why parole was granted any of the four times parole was recommended.
After Rowland was first released on parole in June of 2013, the parole board issued a warrant that August, and Rowland was arrested for absconding due to drug use, failure to report to his parole officer and failure to complete substance abuse treatment.
Rowland’s parole was recommended to be reinstated in May of 2014, and he was released on July 1.
The parole board again issued a warrant for violating parole in August of the same year, due to multiple failures to report to his parole officer, failure to seek substance abuse evaluation, having more than one residence at a time and absconding supervision.
Before he could be arrested for that violation, Rowland was arrested in Muhlenberg County on another offense, and also charged with burglary in Hamilton County, Ohio.
Hamilton County records show Rowland was sentenced to six years, to be served concurrently with his Muhlenberg County ten-year sentence.
It’s not known when or under what conditions Rowland was granted parole on the Hamilton County case. Ohio Parole Board officials had not returned requests for comment or records by press time.
While serving those sentences, Rowland was again recommended for parole by the Kentucky Parole Board and released in October of 2016.
Less than three months later, the parole board again issued a warrant for absconding, noting multiple failures to report to his officer, failure to report a change of address, failure to make restitution, failure to pay his supervision fee and failure to pay for drug testing.
Before he could be arrested on that warrant, Rowland was arrested in February of 2017 on charges from Marshall County that included firearm-enhanced trafficking in methamphetamine.
It was while serving his sentence on those convictions that Rowland was first denied parole, according to records.
His case came up for review in January of 2018, two months before his eligibility date, and the board characterized him as “not a good parole risk” due to the seriousness of the offense, as well as his juvenile record, history of drug and alcohol and history of violating parole and probation.
Rowland’s parole was deferred for 24 months, and he again came before the parole board in January of 2020.
Officials again noted his prior convictions and history of violating release conditions, and at that time added “poor institutional adjustment” to their rationale for denying parole.
Rowland had been written up in September of 2019 for having a window covered against regulations, and was given restrictions.
In December of 2020, while awaiting his next parole hearing, Rowland was again written up, this time for possessing “contraband” of unauthorized clothes and personal items, as well as “altered” clothing.
He was given extra work hours.
After serving just four years of his 12-year sentence from Marshall, Rowland was recommended for parole in April of 2021.
Rowland’s previous conditions of release had included substance abuse regulations, no contact with victims and payment of restitution, but his 2021 parole recommendation added for the first time that he must seek a mental health assessment and follow recommendations.
He was released May 28 that year. A log of Rowland’s movements within the Kentucky Department of Corrections shows he was released on a detainer to Ohio probation and parole. Ohio officials have not provided documents regarding Rowland’s incarceration records or parole status.
Documents show no further contact with the Kentucky Department of Corrections, though he was charged with a traffic offense in early 2022 and was referenced by Tennessee officials as a suspect in a gun theft case.
Kentucky State Police said previously that Rowland was arrested on May 16 of this year, on charges including absconding parole.
State-level corrections and parole officials did not return requests for comment this week, but a spokesperson said the Department of Corrections did not issue a warrant for absconding parole following Rowland’s 2021 release.
The Sun requested records of contacts Rowland had with parole officers, but those records were denied due to the privileged status of “information obtained in the discharge of official duty by any probation or parole officer.”