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After controversy, man convicted of killing Richmond officer paroled

Updated: Jun. 10, 2020 at 2:34 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A man who served decades in prison for the killing of a Richmond police officer and whose parole grant sparked a still-ongoing investigation by Virginia’s government watchdog agency has been released from prison.

Virginia Parole Board chair Tonya Chapman confirmed Vincent Martin’s release Wednesday. Martin, who was serving a life sentence for the 1979 killing of Richmond patrolman Michael P. Connors, had been scheduled to be paroled May 11, but his release was halted at the last minute.

State officials said a temporary hold had been placed due to an ongoing administrative investigation by the Office of the State Inspector General into the Virginia Parole Board.

But law enforcement advocates like Cheryl Nici-O’Connell, Richmond United for Law Enforcement Founder, say the justice system failed them.

“Our hope is that when the officer of the state inspector concludes their report that there will be some form of justice when everything that has happened within a broken system has been investigated and disclosed,” said Nici-O’Connell.

The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and Foundation expressed their thoughts on Martin’s release:

“Virginia’s police chiefs are very disappointed that Vincent Martin has been released on parole without serving the life sentence for the murder of Richmond Police Officer Michael Connors. We hoped that the Parole Board would stay any releases of violent felons until the completion of the Inspector General’s investigation. We are saddened for the family of Officer Connors and for his professional colleagues at the Richmond Police Department.”

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