Nearly 5,400 people have signed an online petition on Change.org calling for the pardon of the Alabama father who killed the man convicted of sexually abusing his daughter when she was a child.
However, both the prosecutor and defense attorney who worked on the case don’t believe the petition will change Jay Maynor‘s conviction of first-degree murder or the 40-year sentence he received for killing Raymond Earl Brooks in 2014.
Maynor, who pleaded guilty on Nov. 14, decided to not face trial in an effort to protect his daughter Julia, now 24, from having to recount her abuse in a courtroom, his former lawyer tells PEOPLE. Julia was about 4 years old when she was first molested by Raymond Earl Brooks — her grandfather through adoption. The molestation continued for several years, and came to light when Julia was 8 years old, according to multiple reports.
Tommy Drake, the criminal defense attorney who represented Maynor for six months after his arrest in June 2014, says he doubts anything will come of the petition.
“I don’t think the governor, based on his political affiliation, is going to grant a pardon,” says Drake.
The Change.org petition, which is addressed to Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange and President Barack Obama, states, “Jay is not a threat to society. He is a good man. We would like to see him set free or at minimum a lesser sentence.”
Cullman County District Attorney Wilson Blaylock tells PEOPLE that the facts speak for themselves in Maynor’s case.
The 43-year-old construction worker was also convicted of second-degree attempted murder for shooting at a man he believed had dated and physically abused his stepdaughter, shortly before killing Brooks.
“Anybody is free to start any kind of petition they want,” Blaylock tells PEOPLE. “The district attorneys office stands by the plea agreement and the facts here are that he shot and killed a man and tried to kill another man.
“Regardless of the emotions from what may have occurred 12 years ago, we can’t prosecute on emotions. We prosecute and try and uphold the criminal laws of the state of Alabama to the best of our ability and that’s what we did in this case.”
Brooks pleaded guilty to molesting Julia, his adopted granddaughter, in 2002. He was sentenced to five years in prison but served just 27 months.
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According to multiple reports, Maynor got into a heated discussion with his daughter, then roared off on his motorcycle to confront Brooks. Along the way, he stopped at convenience store and shot at a man who he was convinced had been abusing his stepdaughter.
Drake says Maynor spent years wracked by guilt over what Brooks did to his daughter. “His daughter lost her innocence and that was something he battled with daily,” says Drake, who describes Maynor as “a down to earth, decent” man. “He blamed himself and always felt that he failed his daughter.”
Drake believes that if Maynor’s case had gone to trial, there “certainly would be ample arguments for acquittal. If not that, I think the very worst he would have been convicted of was manslaughter.”