Convicted Murderer Attends Tulane Law School

Convicted Murderer Attends Tulane Law School

Tulane University, one of the country's most prestigious schools, boasts a first-rate law school. But Bruce Reilly is not your typical law school student. He's 38 years old, and he has a dark past.

There's a reason Reilly is getting such a late start on his studies at Tulane University's law school. He spent 12 years behind bars for killing a professor, a crime so brutal that the details still haunt the hearts of the people who investigated the case.

"I think the term is, there's a screw loose, there's something wrong with him," says prosecutor Jack McMahon.

McMahon prosecuted Reilly for the 1992 murder of Charles Russell, a popular English teacher at the Community College of Rhode Island who met Reilly when he picked him up hitchhiking.

A week later, Reilly attacked Russell at his home, smashing his head with a blunt object and stabbing him 24 times!

McMahon says, "To have stabbed the professor as many times as he did— that's a crime of passion, but it's a warped kind of passion."

Reilly fled with Russell's car and credit cards. He also wrote a chilling poem about the crime:

"Slashing smashing busting beating. Never say die he just kept on bleeding."

"He's rhyming murder! Brutal murder!" McMahon says.

Reilly served 12 years. When he was released he made an impassioned plea for the voting rights of felons on MSNBC, and said, "When you get out, are you let back in society? Are you embraced? Is there rehabilitation?"

But the biggest stunner happened when Reilly was accepted at Tulane's law school, on a scholarship, no less!

Reilly refused to discuss the controversy with INSIDE EDITION, but he spoke recently of his regrets:

"For the last nineteen years I've had to come to grips with the terrible thing I've done. I took a man's life. How can I possibly brush that off?"

One Tulane student was stunned when we broke the news about her newest classmate, calling it "scary."

But some believe he has paid his debt to society, like Mike McCoy, who attends a criminal law class with Reilly.

"The guy served his time, and unlike a lot of people he's actually rehabilitating himself," McCoy said.

But the man who prosecuted Bruce Reilly does not agree.

"God forbid someone like him gets a law degree," says McMahon.