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Judge refuses to block ex-radical's release

Suit against parole board's decision may still go forward

Kathy Boudin, shown after her arrest in 1981, could be released on parole Wednesday.
Kathy Boudin, shown after her arrest in 1981, could be released on parole Wednesday.

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NEW YORK (CNN) -- A state judge has turned down an attempt by police groups and the relative of a police officer killed during a robbery in 1981 to block the expected release this week of 1960s radical Kathy Boudin after 22 years in prison.

John Handchar, the nephew of Sgt. Edward O'Grady, along with the New York State Fraternal Order of Police and the Rockland County Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (PBA) filed suit Tuesday in New York State Supreme Court in Westchester County.

O'Grady was killed, along with fellow Nyack, New York, police officer Wavery Brown and Brink's security guard Peter Paige, when members of the Black Liberation Army stole $1.6 million from an armored truck.

Boudin, 60, who said she merely served as a decoy and never had a gun, pleaded guilty to a single felony charge in Paige's death. She was sentenced to 20 years to life.

The Parole Board announced Monday that Boudin was ready for release from the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility as early as Wednesday.

The suit asks a judge to sign an order delaying Boudin's release until a hearing on the decision, handed down August 20, to release her on parole.

Although Judge Kenneth Lange denied the restraining order, the suit can still go forward, the judge's secretary said. That means that Boudin could be released pending a hearing on that motion, should Lange order one.

Brent Newbury, head of the Rockland County PBA, said, "We're trying to right the wrong that was done last month," when the New York State Parole Board decided to release Boudin.

Newbury said that the two parole commissioners who questioned Boudin asked leading questions to help Boudin mold answers that would help her qualify for parole.

Boudin's attorney, Leonard Weinglass, did not return calls for comment.


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