Make some noise: Parole hearing slated for early release of convicted cop killer in New York

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NEW YORK CITY, NY – An upcoming parole hearing is reportedly scheduled to take place in October.

And if parole is granted, we could see the man convicted of murdering an off-duty police officer in 1992 released from prison as early as August of 2022.

Bannon was convicted of the July 1992 murder of 28-year-old Officer Paul Heidelberger, who was reportedly off-duty when Bannon killed him.

The incident from July 18th, 1992, was reportedly preceded by some kind of bar fight, according to reports from the period of the murder.

Authorities say that Bannon, who served as a bouncer at the Palm Club where the incident occurred, had been fighting with three men and had gotten hit over the head with a bottle.

Prosecutors in the trial that took place in 1993 said that after being struck in the head with a bottle, Bannon left in his car and returned back to the scene with a gun, in order to exact revenge.

Bannon opened fire on the three men as they were leaving the bar.

Officer Heidelberger was directly struck by the gunfire, along with a man identified as 33-year-old John Camarda. The third victim was only grazed by the shooting and was able to flee the area, apparently.

A. Kirke Bartley Jr., an assistant district attorney, said at trial that Bannon walked over to where the two victims laid, and went to finish the job.

According to the prosecution, Officer Heidelberger’s killing was described as an execution, saying that Bannon pointed his 9-millimeter pistol between Officer Heidelberger’s eyes and pulled the trigger – ignoring his pleas for mercy.

After the killings, Bannon went on the lam, reportedly first going to his mother’s house in Queens, packing a single bag and leaving the gun used in the murders behind, then going on the run.

Slightly over a month after the murders, Bannon surrendered to authorities after being featured on the program “America’s Most Wanted”.

During the trial, Bannon tried claiming that the killings were in self-defense.

That, however, clearly did not resonate with the jury during the trial and he was later convicted of murder and manslaughter and sentenced to 30 years-to-life in prison between the charges.

As stated earlier, Bannon is scheduled for a parole hearing this October which would determine whether or not he can be released from prison next August.

The Officer Down Memorial Page has established a pre-written email which you can access here if you’d like to inform the parole board that you don’t want to see Bannon released.

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Cuomo grants release of four more murderers before leaving office, refers cop killer to parole board

(Originally published August 24th, 2021)

ALBANY, NY – In his final day in office, former Governor Andrew Cuomo commuted the prison sentences of four convicted murderers and referred San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin’s cop-killer father to the parole board for a potential prison release.

August 23rd served as former Governor Cuomo’s final day in office, and during that final day, he used his clemency authority to benefit 6 convicted criminals:

-4 murderers who will be getting released from prison early

-a man receiving a pardon after serving 2 years in 2015 for falsifying business records

-and a convicted cop-killer who Cuomo referred to the parole board for a potential release.

The details of the 4 murderers being released from prison early are:

  • Greg Mingo was convicted of four counts of second-degree murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. The now 68-year-old convicted murderer will be released early from prison after having served over 39 years of his 50 years-to-life sentence.
  • Robert Ehrenberg was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder, and one count of first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary. The now 62-year-old convicted killer is being released early from prison after having served over 28 years of his original 50 years-to-life sentence.
  • Ulysses Boyd was convicted of one count of second-degree murder, and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Boyd was reportedly not the gunman attached to his case/conviction.After having served 35 years of his original 50 years-to-life sentence, the now 66-year-old convicted murderer will be released early from prison.
  • Paul Clark was convicted of three counts of second degree murder, one count of second degree attempted murder, and one count of second degree criminal possession of a weapon. The now 59-year-old convicted killer will be released early from prison after having served 40 years of his original 58 years and 4 months-to-life sentence.

According to former Governor Cuomo’s statement, he’s also referring San Francisco DA Boudin’s father for a parole review, which Cuomo wrote the following about convicted cop-killer David Gilbert:

“David Gilbert, 76, was convicted of three counts of second-degree murder and four counts of first-degree robbery in 1983. He has served 40 years of a 75-years-to-life sentence, related to an incident in which he was the driver, not the murderer.

While incarcerated, Mr. Gilbert has made significant contributions to AIDS education and prevention programs; he’s also worked as a student tutor, law library clerk, paralegal assistant, a teacher’s aide, and an aide for various additional facility programs.

At this time, Mr. Gilbert is the only individual still incarcerated, with no possibility of parole in his lifetime. He will be referred to the parole board for potential release.”

Former Governor Cuomo managed to leave out quite of bit of information about Gilbert in his statement announcing that he’s being referred to the parole board.

What Cuomo managed to leave out in his description of Gilbert was that he was part of the domestic terrorist organization Weather Underground, along Kathy Boudin – San Francisco Da Chesa Boudin’s mother.

Weather Underground was behind multiple bombings and arson attacks during the 1970s – having bombed an NYPD station, the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol building, and even the Pentagon.

After Weather Underground began to dissolve, Gilbert and Boudin joined another extremism group known as the May 19th Communist Organization. This would lead to Gilbert and Boudin’s participation in the 1981 Brink’s robbery that would leave two police officer and a Brink’s security guard killed.

On October 20th, 1981, six members of the Black Liberation Army ambushed Brink’s security guards as they were loading cash into an armored truck outside of the Nanuet Mall.

With the Black Liberation Army members armed with a shotgun and an M16, Brink’s security guard Peter Paige was hit multiple times and killed. The other guard present, Joseph Trombino, nearly had his arm severed off after being struck several times in the shoulder.

The BLA members then opened fire on the driver and made away with $1.6 million.

Waiting nearby in a U-Haul was Gilbert and Boudin, where the BLA members loaded the stolen money into the U-Haul and took off. Shortly thereafter, with Boudin behind the wheel, they’d encountered a police roadblock.

Initially, police at the roadblock weren’t sure they had stopped the right truck where the stolen money was inside of, as they saw Boudin behind the wheel and were looking for robbers that were described as being all black.

Since the U-Haul truck matched the description, police had their guns drawn on Boudin who pleaded with the officers that they had the wrong truck and urged the cops to lower their weapons – which they did. It was at this point that that six armed BLA members jumped out of the back of the U-Haul and opened fire on police.

Nyack police officers Edward O’Grady and Waverly Brown were killed in the shootout, and Detective Artie Keenan was seriously injured.

Needless to say, former Governor Cuomo managed to leave a lot out of his description of Gilbert – a man directly involved with the murders of police officers and having been part of a domestic terrorist organization responsible for attacks against the government.

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We at Law Enforcement Today previously reported on a series of other granted clemencies by then-outgoing Governor Cuomo earlier in August. 

Here’s that previous report. 

_

ALBANY, NY – According to reports, Governor Andrew Cuomo has commuted the sentences of five prison inmates – some convicted of murder – and issued pardons for five others with offenses ranging from drug convictions to attempted robbery.

These granted pardons and commutations came as the governor approaches his final days in office.

It’s a fairly common practice to see elected officials with the powers to pardon or commute sentences do so in their final days in office when they’re not eyeing down reelection bids.

So it’s with little surprise to see that Governor Cuomo employed his clemency powers before officially resigns from office later in August.

In a press release from August 17th, Governor Cuomo claimed that the 10 individuals granted either sentence commutations or pardons “demonstrated substantial evidence of rehabilitation and commitment to their communities” – which among those afforded sentence commutations (being released early from prison) were convicted murderers.

The list of commutations are as follows:

  • Nehru Gumbs, who was convicted of manslaughter, criminal weapon possession and assault in 2005, was released early from prison after serving over 17 years out of a 25-yar prison sentence. During Gumbs’ time in prison, he reportedly served as a youth counselor at Sing Sing’s Youth Assistance Program and attained his associates degree.
  • Jon-Adrian Velasquez, who was convicted of second-degree murder, attempted murder, robbery, and attempted robbery in 1999, was released from prison after serving over 23 years out of a 25-years-to-life sentence. It was noted that Velasquez attained his bachelor’s degree while in prison and established an anti-gun violence educational program called “Voices From Within”.
  • George Martinez, who was convicted of burglary and attempted burglary, was released from prison after serving 15 years of a 17-and-a-half-year-to-life sentence. Apparently, his noted accomplishments in prison were him being a good cook and cooking for various events.
  • Dontie Mitchell, who was convicted of robbery, criminal use of a firearm and various other offenses, was released from prison after serving 24-and-a-half years out of a 27-to-54-year sentence. Mitchell was cited as serving as a mentor to youths entering the prison system.
  • Richard “Lee” Chalk, who was convicted of second-degree murder, robbery, burglary and criminal possession of a weapon in 1988, was released early from prison after serving 33 years of a 50-years-to-life sentence. Chalk reportedly earned various educational certificates for legal research, food service, sighted guide training, and the Fatherhood & Family Law Program.

Governor Cuomo, as mentioned earlier, also issued five pardons for individuals who have already served their respective sentences in jail and/or prison, which will afford them a clean criminal record moving forward.

What was unique in every one of these pardons, according to the governor’s press release, was that they were all afforded to individuals who were also at risk for deportation due to their prior criminal convictions.

The list of pardons are as follows:

  • James Pamphile, who was previously convicted of bail jumping, assault and attempted assault in 2013, was pardoned due to him remaining crime-free for reportedly 8 years.
  • Ivelisse Castillo, who was convicted of third-degree attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance back in 2001, was granted a pardon after or having been crime-free for over 19 years.
  • Jorge Quinones, who was convicted of third-degree attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance back in 1996, was granted a pardon for being crime-free for 25 years.
  • Miriam Ordonez, who was convicted of third-degree attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance back in 1999, was granted a pardon due to her being 17-years-old at the time of her offense and it later being found that the coffee shop she was working at back then was being run by a drug dealer who was specifically taking advantage of undocumented children.
  • Catherine Valdez, who was convicted of second-degree attempted robbery in 2002, was granted a pardon taking into consideration that she was 16-years-old at the time of the offense.

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