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Survivor of NM killings ‘in tailspin’ since ruling

SANTA FE (AP) — A Nebraska woman who survived the 1979 killings of her family in New Mexico said she “went into a tailspin” upon hearing that the killer, her stepfather, will be eligible for parole later this year.

The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled Monday that Clifton Skidgel is entitled to a parole hearing in September after serving 10 years of a second life sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty in 1980.

Jackie Nicole Nasiatka was 11 years old when she was wounded and her mother and three siblings killed in Las Cruces at the family home. Nasiatka now lives in the Omaha, Neb., area but said she plans to change her name and move, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.

Nasiatka said she’s terrified that Skidgel will go free and that he shouldn’t be released because of what he did.

Learning of the court ruling was a jolt, according to Nasiatka, who said she had finally gained a semblance of well-being after years of emotional turmoil.

“As of (Monday) night, my life went into a tailspin,” said Nasiatka, now. 45. “Now, I can feel myself going into that shell, going back into survivor mode.”

Skidgel shot and killed her mother, Sharon; 16-year-old sister Gayla; 13-year-old brother Jimmy; and 8-year-old brother Richard Bruce.

Nasiatka said her fear is strong, though it would be months before Skidgel is released. That’s, in part, by a particular memory of her stepfather, she said.

“The only thing (I) remember him saying is: ‘I don’t start something I don’t finish,'” she said.

“I am so terrified of this man getting out,” Nasiatka said. “I am going to go beg the Social Security Administration to change my number. I’m going to move and change my name.”

Nasiatka said she hopes to appear before the New Mexico parole board in person.

“I want that parole board to feel my fear, feel the pain I live with every day so that they know what I am begging for is to be safe, to feel safe, to keep other people safe,” she said.