NATICK (CBS) – A man convicted in the murder a police chief decades ago showed no remorse when he asked the parole board for a chance for freedom.
“He’s coming in here like it’s a field trip away from jail,” said Erin Mortell, the daughter of Paxton Police Chief Robert Mortell.
Mortell was 11 when she found out her father had been killed in 1994. He was shot in the woods helping police in neighboring Holden track down three robbers.
Jamie Richards was one of them, and while he wasn’t the triggerman, he was convicted of second degree murder.
Twenty-three years later, he stunned the parole board when he appeared for his first shot at freedom completely unprepared.
“How did you prepare for this hearing today?” parole board member Lucy Soto-Abbe asked.
“I didn’t,” Richards answered.
“If this is who you are today, I have concerns about who you are going to be out in the community,” Soto-Abbe responded.
“Well you’ve spent 45 minutes with me so I suppose that would be an accurate assessment of how I am,” Richards said.
Several others pleaded with the board not to show Richards mercy, including Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. who personally knew Chief Mortell and State Police Colonel Richard McKeon, who was then the lead detective on the case.
“Unfortunately he has no remorse,” McKeon said. “He only regrets that he got caught.
Erin Mortell was outraged over Richards’ appearance.
“The fact that he sat here so arrogant and defiant; I don’t know how you would expect this man to go into society,” Erin Mortell said.
At the end, the board gave him one last chance.
“This is an opportunity for you, if you would like to say something to the board, to do so,” said Paul Treseler.
“I’m all set,” Richards responded.
Chief Mortell’s daughter ended with a plea to the board to never to give Richards another parole hearing again, but the law doesn’t allow for that.
Depending on the board’s decision, he can come back in one to five years and Chief Mortell’s family will go through this all over again.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports