Convicted killer's release rescinded, family plans protest - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Convicted killer's release rescinded, family plans protest for May hearing

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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Family members Sandra Olrich, a Jamesville woman who was stabbed to death in 1982, say her killer's parole, which was originally scheduled for April 16th, has been rescinded.

Howard Marnell, 52, was granted parole after his most recent hearing on March 12th. Though he had been denied parole in eight prior hearings, in a written decision, the parole board cited Marnell's time served, good behavior and letters of support from friends, potential employers, even the sentencing judge as reasons to permit parole.

Still, District Attorney William Fitzpatrick has asked the board to revisit their decision, believing Marnell was dishonest during his most recent hearing.  

Marnell will go before the parole board again in May, the family announced on their Facebook page Tuesday night.

They will travel to Albany in an effort to ensure Sandra Olrich's killer remains behind bars for the remainder of his life.

Traveling with Olrich's family in support of revoking release, is Marnell's own brother Patrick, who has announced plans to rally at the Capitol building Wednesday, in hopes of gathering support at the state level to block Marnell's release. They will be handing out flyers and wearing neon yellow shirts with their message printed on them.

Marnell is serving a 15-years-to-life prison sentence after he was convicted of the brutal murder of Olrich 30 years ago.

"She had a fractured skull, lacerated liver, lacerated lung, facial wounds, a lacerated neck," said Jessica Ward, Marnell's daughter.

He was convicted of brutally beating and stabbing Olrich after she refused his sexual advances. He then attempted to cover up his connection to the murder, hiding his bloody clothes and car.

"He took off all his bloody clothes and rolled them up and he hid them in a bag in the back of the closet. He took his car and he parked it in the garage because he knew it had blood on the inside of it," said Cindy Bishop, Sandra's Sister.

Marnell's family had hoped that the revealing of his criminal past would be enough to keep him in state prison, but now worry that may not be enough.

Over the years, new information about Marnell's record, including burglary and attempted kidnapping, had emerged during parole hearings, yet he was still granted the parole that has since been rescinded.

The family and a group of supporters are set to depart Syracuse just before 6 a.m. Wednesday morning. Upon arriving in Albany, they will begin lobbying lawmakers and sharing their story with the public.

Ward, who says she is fearful of her father's release, has already scheduled a meeting with a representative of Senator Patty Ritchie for Wednesday morning, where she plans to plead her case.

"I am afraid. Even though he is not released yet, I still find myself today going to the store and double-checking my car, looking in the window before I get in," Ward said.

Ward said she is not only worried for her own safety, but also believes her father is a danger to society.

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