The Minnesota Department of Corrections has approved parole for a prisoner convicted of murdering a police officer.

Timothy Eling, 63, was notified this week that his life sentence for the 1982 killing of Oakdale police officer Richard Walton has ended after 29 years, reports The Star-Tribune.

Eling killed Walton during a gun battle inside the pharmacy in St. Paul. Walton, a father of five children, was off duty and moonlighting as a security guard when, responding to a burglary call, he stepped out from an elevator and was shot in the head.

"As you've repeatedly stated, you realized many years ago the devastating impact your crime has had on your victim, [his] family, friends, the law enforcement community and your own family,'' Corrections Commissioner Tom Roy wrote in a letter notifying Eling of his decision. "Your rejection of criminality and pursuit of positive activities ... has been your testament to your victims.''

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