An ex-con who served time for murder was just elected to serve on a school board in La Junta, Colorado. Thomas Seaba, who pleaded guilty to murdering a fellow Marine in the 90s, overcame stereotypes about convicts to win the election to East Otero School Board by 11 points.

According to a detective on the case, in 1997, Seaba shot another man in the head five times. KOAA  reports that he pleaded guilty to a charge of second degree murder in connection with the shooting death in North Carolina two decades ago. He was released in 2010 and moved back to his hometown in Colorado.

His past was well known during the school board race, local reports say, but the confessed killer still managed to secure his spot on the board.

“It was obviously a set of horrific mistakes compounding on one another which led to me serving time in prison,” said Seaba.

The East Otero School District’s superintendent, Rick Lovato, said “We researched to see what the criteria was. It is not outside of the rights for a person with a felony conviction to run for the office.”

Only a sex crime against a child would have prevented Seaba from running for school board in Colorado, according to CBS4. Lovato says that, with no rule against Seaba serving, the district will not interfere with the voters’ decision.

“If you are a good person and something bad happened to you, or whatever, do the time but then spend the rest of your life making it right. Thomas has done that,” La Junta City Manager Rick Klein said.

Seaba says he wants to make a positive impact on his community, but one detective on the case said Seaba’s crime was “cold-blooded.”  According to KKTV, Col. Donnie Worrell  said Seaba shot the victim once in the back of the head, then returned later and shot him four more times.

“Anyone who shoots someone five times in the head, you know, no doubt it was a cold-blooded killing,” Worrell reportedly said.