The New York State Parole Board denied parole to convicted murderer Richard LaBarbera Thursday.
LaBarbera and Robert McCain were convicted in the murder of 16-year-old Pearl River resident Paula Bohovesky Oct. 28, 1980 and sentenced to 25-years-to-life in prison. LaBarbera, 60, would next be eligible for a parole hearing in May 2015. McCain is due for his next parole hearing the week of June 11.
Bohovesky's mother Lois, 80, has fought to keep her daugther's killers in jail with the aid of local officials. The Orangetown Council and Rockland County Legislature both passed resolutions calling for LaBarbera and McCain to be denied parole.
Rockland County Legislator John Murphy called it a “flaw in the New York state criminal justice system” that the two men are eligible for parole every two years.
"I am pleased that the parole board has once again denied this man parole," Murphy said in a statement released Thursday afternoon. "The savage attack and brutal murder of young Paula was senseless and evil. LaBarbera, and McCain as well, continue to deny guilt despite their convictions."
LaBarbera and McCain first became eligible for parole in 2005. This is the fifth time LaBarbera has been denied. Murphy worked with Bob Baird, Bill Schule and Orangetown Councilmen Tom Diviny and Denis Troy to create www.PetitioinforPaula.com and distributed paper petitions locally. The online petition drew nearly 15,000 signatures and approximately 900 people signed the paper ones.
"Paula's mom and brother, Lois and Peter Bohovesky, and I are grateful to anyone who signed a petition and to our Pearl river merchants for the support they willingly give our petition drives every two years," Murphy said. "We also than Rockland's District Attorney, Tom Zugibe, for his ongoing support and guidance. The indifference to human life and the depravity of this act must not be overlooked. We will look forward to the continued support of the community in 2015 when LaBarbera petitions for parole again."