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I-Team: Parole Board Under Fire For Release

By Kathy Curran, WBZ-TV

 BOSTON (CBS) — On its face the President of the Massachusetts Police Chiefs Association, Mark K. Leahy, calls the state’s parole board’s decision to free Dominic Cinellia a tremendous failure. Several local chiefs lashed out at the state parole board and its decision to let this violent career criminal, a man serving three life sentences, back on the street.

Dominic Cinelli was out on parole when he exchanged fire in a deadly shootout outside of this Woburn Kohl’s after a jewelry heist Sunday night.

Cinelli and veteran Woburn police officer Jack Maguire were killed. 

WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran reports.

Chief Leahy says, “We see some things in the decision that stand out. For example, the decision states that his release was not incompatible with the welfare of our society. I think a lot of people would beg to differ at this point.” 

Watertown Police Chief Ed Deveau adds, “Here’s a person who has a long, violent criminal history and it appears they didn’t take his past history of violence in to play as much as his attempt to rehabilitate himself.”

According to records obtained by the I-Team, it was a unanimous decision by the parole board that freed Cinelli in March of 2009.

Cinelli was addicted to drugs at a young age then lived a life of violent crime for decades. His rap sheet has 71 charges including armed robbery, assault with intent to murder, gun charges and escapes.

In the end it was a well respected officer versus a desperate man who had nothing to lose. These chiefs are outraged Dominic Cinelli was released.

“In this case if it walks like a duck it’s going to walk like a duck thirty years later. And before we turn these people lose in society safeguards have to be taken, and we have to make sure in this case they were,” says Chief Leahy.

In its decision the parole board looked at the fact that Cinelli completed several violence prevention, recovery and substance abuse programs. They also noted he had strong family support and a solid transition plan. 

The executive director of the parole board, Timothy Dooling, released a statement saying, “We are stunned and saddened by the tragic events. Upon learning the suspect was on parole we immediately initiated a comprehensive review of all records and information.”


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