The New York parole board has released Perry Bellamy who had been convicted of the 1985 murder of state parole officer, Brian Rooney, after a hearing in which Bellamy denied committing the crime, as reported by The Post.
The 59-year-old stated, “I had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with this crime and I am so sorry for what happened to the family of [Officer Rooney]. But I played no role in taking his life or participating in taking his life.” The hearing took place on 18 August and he was released on 30 August.
He added “I’m not the man that was involved. I’m not the man that did the crime.”
The release has caused outrage in parole officers who worked alongside the victim and in the union that represents them. It is believed that this is just another example in a chain of incidents where the Gov. Andrew Cuomo-appointed Parole Board releases convicted killers.
Other examples include Bruce Haims who beat a young woman to death with a club, Herman Bell who killed a cop and Sam Ayala who raped and murdered two young mothers with their little children within earshot.
Bellamy is believed to be an associate of drug lord Lorenzo Nichols and was convicted because it was believed he lured Rooney into meeting with him in exchange for information about one of his cases. At the meeting point, a hit squad (believed to be ordered by Nichols) opened fire on Rooney’s car and killed him. Bellamy was convicted of gun possession and second-degree murder and sentenced to 15 years to life.
The convict did not show remorse at his parole hearing but rather insisted that he had spent decades in prison for a crime he did not commit. Bob Dennison, former Parole Board Chairman, backed this. He alleged that Bellamy took the fall for being the set-up man because he assumed prison would be safer for him than out on the streets and he didn’t expect to do much time.
Otis Cruse and Michael Corley decided the case. They dismissed his claims of innocence but released him anyway.
Bellamy has moved to North Carolina, following his release. Therefore, a New York parole officer will not have to supervise a man convicted of the death of one of their own.