LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — It’s been a week of firsts for Glenda Virgil.

Recently released from prison, she served 26 years for killing her abusive boyfriend.

CBS2’s Kristine Lazar sat down with Virgil — now 66 — and talked about her time behind bars and her new life.

Virgil was asked how it felt to be free by Julia Deixler, a law student with USC’s Post-Conviction Justice Project. Deixler was instrumental in helping secure Virgil’s release.

“It feels wonderful,” says Virgil who this week enjoyed a shopping trip at Target, her first “In & Out” burger. “Oh my goodness. I am so happy.” This week also marked the first time Virgil met Deixler.

Virgil is happy despite the fact she is dying of lung cancer.

She was sentenced to 15 years to life in 1987.  Virgil said her boyfriend came at her with a shovel and she killed him with a shotgun. She told Lazar she was a victim of years of almost daily abuse.

“I was raped almost continuously, beaten. with his hands and fists,” said Virgil.

She was denied parole last August, she had a violation for smoking cigarettes. At that same time, doctor gave her two months to two years to live.

“To me, it is obvious that Glenda Virgil does not pose a danger to anyone,” said Deixler.

The student petitioned the Governor and in May she was given another parole hearing and they decided to release her. “I was overwhelmed, because I knew it was over. It’s hard to fight so many battles at the same time,” Virgil says.

Virgil counseled other battered women in prison — she hopes to keep spreading her message. “There is hope. You can actually leave and go on in life. It doesn’t matter if you love him, you still have to leave.”

Lazar reports that Virgil cannot leave the state as a condition of her parole. Later this month, her daughter and grandchildren will fly to Los Angeles to visit her.


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