PEARL RIVER, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Despite never taking responsibility for the brutal killing of Rockland County teen Paula Bohovesky, her convicted murderer has been granted parole.
Richard LaBarbera is one of two men imprisoned for killing the 16-year-old as she walked home from the Pearl River Library on Oct. 28, 1980.
LaBarbera and Robert McCain were both found guilty of the murder and sentenced to 25 years to life in jail. Charges that the men allegedly raped the teen during the heinous attack were never brought to trial.
The decision by New York’s heavily criticized parole board has sparked fresh outrage from state lawmakers and grieving families.
Gov. Cuomo’s appointees have recently set free several longtime inmates, including convicted cop killers Herman Bell and Judith Clark.
Making LaBarbera’s release even more controversial, the Rockland County man reportedly continues to blame McCain for the murder and has not accepted responsibility for his role in Bohovesky’s death – a common prerequisite before a criminal is released.
“Neither of these convicts have ever repented for their crimes. To this day, they blame one another for the heinous torture and murder of an innocent teenager,” senate Republican leader John Flanagan said in a fiery statement Wednesday.
“Lois Bohovesky, the victim’s mother, was calling on the Parole Board to deny LaBarbera’s request for freedom. They ignored her and thousands of others who opposed his release,” Flanagan added.
“Shame on the Parole Board, shame on Governor Cuomo, and shame on the Democrats in the state Legislature for allowing this madness to continue.”
Rockland County Executive Ed Day also slammed the shocking parole decision, telling local reporters he thought the release of LaBarbera was “extremely disgusting.”