Monday, January 24, 2022

Gov. Baker Reduces Two First-Degree Murder Convicts. Nation World News

BOSTON ( Associated Press) — Governor Charlie Baker announced Wednesday that he has converted the first-degree convictions of the murders of Thomas Koonas and William Allen to second-degree murder, making each eligible for immediate parole.

The state parole board recently recommended commutation for both Koonsey and Allen.

Coons, 54, a former United States Marine, has served 30 years in prison for the murder of Mark Santos. Kaunas was convicted in 1992 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after being thrown out of a car window in 1987 during a brawl in New Bedford, in which Santos was fatally shot. was killed by

While in prison, Koons helped establish the restorative justice program at MCI-Norfolk and earned a bachelor’s degree through Boston University’s prison education program and, according to the Baker administration, remained active in his church and throughout his imprisonment. Be employed.

Allen, 48, has served 27 years in prison for his role in the 1994 murder of Purvis Bester. He was convicted of first-degree murder in 1997 for participating in a robbery during which a second man fatally stabbed Bester after breaking into Bester’s Brockton apartment. Allen was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

According to the administration, while in prison, Allen participated in restorative justice and violence alternatives programs. He also earned professional licenses to be a hairdresser, food service worker, and law clerk, served as a Eucharistic minister for the Catholic community, and worked as an assistant to seriously mentally ill patients at Bridgewater State Hospital. Did.

Conversions must now be approved by the governor’s council. If approved, Kaunas and Allen would be eligible for a parole hearing and if granted parole they would be on parole for life.

Baker said he spent months weighing the circumstances of the two crimes, the course of action of the two men and the parole board’s recommendations to undermine.

Baker said in a written statement, “I believe that both men have taken responsibility for their actions and have paid their debt to the Commonwealth by serving longer sentences than most men found guilty of similar actions, Right to take parole from jail.”

“I hope that the Governor’s Council carefully weighs the facts of these cases as well as the undeniable impact on the families involved and reaches the same decision,” he said.

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