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Monday, April 24, 2023

The Gary Castonguay Case: Paroling a Cop Killer?

     In 1976, 32-year-old Gary Castonguay was convicted of shooting into the homes of two police officers in Bristol, Connecticut. The attacks took place at night when the officers were home with their families. Castonguay told people that he wanted to kill cops.

     Instead of being locked up in prison for attempted murder, a judge found Castonguay legally insane and sent him to a psychiatric hospital for six months. Once released from the hospital he was free.

     In 1977, caught breaking into a home in Plainville, Connecticut, Castonguay fled from police officer Robert Holcomb. As Holcomb was about to catch and arrest him the burglar turned and shot the 26-year-old officer. Castonguay, with the officer down, was free to escape. But instead of running off, he stood over the fallen officer and shot him three times in the chest, killing him on the spot.

     Following his conviction and life sentence for the cold-blooded killing of a police officer, Castonguay's attorney filed several appeals on his client's behalf. The appellate courts rejected all of the appeals. As a result the conviction and the life sentence remained in effect.

     On January 9, 2015, members of the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles, in a two to one vote, agreed to grant the 70-year-old cop killer a parole. The board members made this atrocious decision after Castonguay's self-serving testimony that he hadn't intended to kill officer Holcomb. In an effort to escape, he panicked, blacked out and had no memory of the shooting.

     These ridiculous arguments hadn't worked at Castonguay's trial and had been rejected by all of the appellate courts. But decades later the cop killer was able to use these absurd justifications to convince two parole board idiots to send him back into society.

     None of officer Holcomb's relatives were notified of the Castonguay parole hearing. When the relatives learned of the granted parole they were understandably shocked and outraged. Also outraged were members of the general public who flooded the parole board with angry emails and letters.

     As a result of the public outcry over the parole board's ruling, the board agreed to hold another hearing to give the slain officer's relatives a chance to express their anger and disbelief that this cold-blooded cop killer had been granted parole.

     At the March 25, 2015 hearing the same board members voted three to zero to rescind the cop killer's parole.

     This case begs the question: where do they find these sob-sister parole board members? If Castonguay had killed a police officer in Texas, Missouri, Florida, Ohio or Oklahoma, he'd be dead by now and the dead officer's relatives would not have to worry about a couple of corrections fools setting him free. 

1 comment:

  1. There should be a correction here. The time frame is wrong. Castonguay shot at the home Bristol Connecticut's police chief Buz Barton in 1968 I believe because I went to high school with his daughter and it was the only day in her 4 years of a perfect attendance that she wasn't in school. We were all shocked that she wasn't there. Later on, after school, the word was out what had happened. Castonguay had stolen a Corvette at a used car lot, driven to the home of Barton and fired a few rounds into the home in the early morning hours. No one was injured. The rest of the article is spot on.