BOSTON (CBS/AP) – A career criminal who killed a veteran Woburn police officer Sunday told the state parole board back in 2008 that he was a changed person, even though he was serving three concurrent life sentences at the time.

Police say 57-year-old Dominic Cinelli killed 60-year-old officer John Maguire on Sunday during a department store robbery.

Maguire was nearing retirement. Cinelli was also shot and killed.

WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran reports.

The Massachusetts Parole Board is under fire for allowing Cinelli to go free in 2009.

The I-Team has obtained a video of his one-hour parole hearing before the board in November 2008.


“I know that no words can erase the mental and physical pain and disturbing memories I left my victims with. I am deeply sorry and grateful that I didn’t seriously hurt more people,” he told the board.

“I realize deep inside me there’s still that ugliness. And I gotta know that I have to deal with that and control that.”

At one point during the hearing a board member asks Cinelli “Is this just a game? Is this just a manipulation of his past history?”

“I had so much darkness in my soul. I cared about nothing. I cared about no one,” Cinelli responds.

“So much has changed. I can’t even look at that type of person any more. I’m not that person. I care about everything that’s around me.”

Watch Dominic Cinelli’s apology


It was a unanimous vote by the board that put a man who was serving three life sentences back on the street. Board members called Cinelli a “very, very, very high risk” and congratulated Cinelli for turning his life around in prison and being the model parolee.

His lawyer, Marie Kessler said, “since 2005 he’s been free of disciplinary reports, he has maintained sobriety and acquired new skills.”

Cinelli admitted that money and valuables were not all he stole from innocent people, he said he took their sense of safety and trust which they’ve never gotten back.


Gov. Deval Patrick has ordered a review of the board’s decision. It is being handled by the Massachusetts Parole Board and the Executive Office of Public Safety.

EOPS Undersecretary John Grossman says for parole and public safety officials Sunday’s shootout is analogous to a space shuttle crash at Nassau. He says the review will look at everything from Cinelli’s crimes to the information the parole board had to how he was being monitored. Grossman says, “We want to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.”

Five members of the parole board who voted to release Cinelli in 2008 are still board members.

Northborough Police Chief Mark Leahy, president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, says there is “great concern” over Cinelli’s parole in March 2009.

Woburn Chief Philip Mahoney called Cinelli’s parole “disgusting.”


Dominic Cinelli was addicted to heroin and barbiturates by the time he was a teen. He said he had a great family and didn’t blame them for his life of crime. “I chose to threaten and steal from people in order to support my selfish drug dependent lifestyle. Today I understand not only did I victimize people I pointed a gun at, I also affected friends and loved ones and the public,” he told the board.

He said he committed more than 100 crimes and victimized 20 people. According to the state, while on parole Cinelli was working, in drug and alcohol prevention programs and being drug tested.

Cinelli had a criminal record that included armed robbery and attempted murder charges and two prison escapes.

WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran contributed to this report.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (13)
  1. Jess says:

    If he was serving consecutive life sentences, why was he even up for parole in the first place???!!!

  2. getjsad says:

    Three Life sentences…Are you kidding me. Dumb is as dumb does.

    Who are these PB members and what are thier qualifications to make these judgements.

    Three Life sentences and you think this person was a changed man. Don’t play God. It is what it is.

  3. tannerjack says:

    This won’t stop in this state until we have laws that mean a life sentence when a life sentence is given. It is DISGUSTING that this p.o.s. had 3 life sentences and was even given a parole hearing let alone allowed to get out. WHY??? We need to wake up people. Perhaps the laws will change when a crime like this hits closer to home to some big shot politician. Until then pray for the family of Officer Maguire. I honestly doubt whether these PB members who set this animal free will even send a sympathy card to the family.

  4. Lois Woods says:

    The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. The PB made a deadly error in judgment. My heart goes out to the Maguire family. Officer Maguire was a true Hero.

  5. Dan Murphy says:

    Complete incompetence. This story is so unbelievable that I had to read it three times to make sure I was reading it correctly. What idiots.

    The process should include a review from members of the Law Enforcement community — a way of ensuring a system of checks and balances is in place.

  6. JA says:

    “EOPS Undersecretary John Grossman says for parole and public safety officials Sunday’s shootout is analogous to a space shuttle crash at Nassau.”

    Since when does the space shuttle take off from The Bahamas?

    1. Diamond says:

      He said NASA, not Nassau. Seriously man, NASA, you know the organization that launches the Space Shuttle? You thought he was talking about the Bahamas? You did not make the connection between NASA and the space shuttle? mama-mia!

  7. M. K. K. says:

    One less cop on an ego trip the public has to deal with!

  8. sambinx says:

    He wasn’t serving consectutive life sentences. They were concurrent which is a big part of the problem, If they were consecutive he could have gotten parole on the 1st and then would have started the second and so on. Now they are also saying the DA’s office was not notified of the hearing. Many Many Many errors that has caused a senseless and needless loss of life. I feel for Officer Maquire’s family and offer my sincerest condolences

  9. emom says:

    The PB needs to be fired, and held accountable for what this POS has done… If you have the kind of sentence he got , HOW THE HECK CAN YOU POSSIBLY GET PAROLED,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,HOW,,,,,,

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