Convicted Cop-Killer's Release On Hold

May 11, 2020 - 3:52 pm

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Richmond, VA _  Virginia Public Safety Secretary Brian Moran says the release of convicted cop-killer Vincent Martin is temporarily on hold following a public outcry, until a special investigation can be completed.

Martin was convicted in the November 1979 killing of Richmond Police Officer Michael Connors during a traffic stop near the VCU campus. 

The Virginia Office of Inspector General is looking into the process of how the Virginia Parole Board made the determination to release Martin.  The scrutiny comes as various police organizations, Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Colette McEachin, a democrat, and most recently Virginia GOP leaders called for a halt to the release.

Moran pointed out Monday that the Parole Board's new chair is former Portsmouth police chief Tonya Chapman, and that she agrees with the temporary halt in release.  The Board has issued a statement calling it a 30-day pause in Martin's release.  Former Parole Board Chair Adrianne Bennett, at the time of the board's decision, said the board conducted its own investigation of Martin's conviction and noted conflicting testimony from the three co-defendants who were with Martin that night, and who testified against him.  She also said Martin had been rehabilitated and that he had earned a reputation as a "trusted leader, peacemaker, mediator and mentor."

McEachin, Connors' family members, and Former Deputy Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Stacy Garrett, who prosecuted Martin said they were all taken aback by the decision to grant parole to Martin, because they had not been notified, or solicited for their opinions and findings.