2008-11-07 / Top Stories

Cop Killer Comes Up For Parole

Cop's Sister Wants Him To Die In Prison
By Howard Schwach

A man who robbed an Edgemere social club along with three accomplices in April of 1980, a robbery that officials say led directly to the shooting death of Police Officer Robert Sorrentino, is once again up for parole next month, according to the cop's family and sources at the New York State Parole Board.

Russell Carroll, the man involved in the robbery and who was convicted of murder in the second degree for the murder of the police officer, was turned down for parole in February of 2007, the last time he appeared before the board.

Carroll, who has been Prisoner 82-A- 0199 since he was found guilty of second degree murder of a police officer and a slew of other crimes, including nearly 100 counts of robbery, on December 10, 1981, remains in his cell at the Eastern Correctional Facility in Ulster County awaiting the December hearing, which was moved up from its original February, 2009 date.

That change has angered Sorrentino's family, which has been fighting any move for Carroll's parole since he first became eligible.

"I have no idea why they moved up his hearing. Maybe they want him to be home for the holidays," said Edna Doyle, Sorrentino's sister and now his spokesperson. "I want [Carroll] to remain in jail until they carry him out, because he killed my brother. I want him to get out the way the others did."

Doyle said that she will be present for the December hearing.

"I was there for the last two [hearings] and I will be there for this one," she told The Wave on Tuesday. "I will be there as many times as necessary to see that he stays in prison."

Heather Groll, director of Media Relations for the Parole Board, however, says that the early hearing is not an attempt to make it more comfortable for Carroll, but rather the result of a simple rule change.

"We hold the hearings four months before the possible release date rather than two months as we used to," Groll said, explaining why the hearing is now two months earlier.

On April 10, 1980, Carroll and three other men robbed approximately two dozen patrons in an illegal gambling and drinking club on Beach 43 Street in Edgemere.

Published reports in The Wave at the time say that some of those who were robbed followed the four men as they fled the scene and subsequently tipped off police as to the location of the men.

Several police officers who responded to the call saw the foursome and chased them to the St. Mary's Star of the Sea Church on Beach 19 Street and Central Avenue, where the men left the car and fled police on foot.

Police Officers Robert Sorrentino and Jack Dowd, partners in one of the radio cars that responded, chased two of the men, who ran off in separate directions.

Police Officer Sorrentino followed one of the defendants, later identified as Marcel Marable, into the dark churchyard.

Marable shot the cop five times, officials said. He was captured a few hours later.

Sorrentino underwent 15 hours of emergency surgery at a local hospital, but died two weeks later as a result of his wounds.

At the time of the shooting, Marable was free on parole after serving 15 years for bank robbery. Carroll was being sought by police after skipping bail following a 1977 robbery.

All four of the defendants were charged with murder and were convicted under a state law that says that any person involved in a murder is as guilty as the person who actually does the shooting.

They were also found guilty of numerous charges of robbery, criminal possession of a weapon and resisting arrest.

Carroll is the only one still alive. The other three men died in custody.

Many locals joined Sorrentino's family in urging the Parole Board to turn down Carroll's request.

Leann Doyle, Edna Doyle's daughter, started an online petition page that drew 2,116 signatures the last time Carroll came up for parole. That website has been activated once again in an attempt to keep Carroll from attaining parole this year and already has more than 1,000 signatures.

"My family, still grieving from the loss of my Uncle Bobby, does not want this man to go free," Doyle told The Wave when Carroll first came up for parole in February of 2005.

A spokesperson for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said that the DA's office has joined in the move to keep Carroll from being paroled.

In 2005, an official of that office wrote to the parole board asking that Carroll be retained in the upstate prison.

"In light of the exceptionally serious nature of the crime for which this defendant was convicted, and as a result of which the life of Police Officer Robert Sorrentino was lost, the District Attorney strenuously opposes release consideration and recommends that this individual remain incarcerated for the maximum possible term," the letter from Queens District Attorney Richard brown said.

Edna Doyle says that Carroll told the parole board two years ago that he "no longer wanted to live like he was, that he was getting older and it was becoming very stressful."

Doyle pointed to the fact that at least he was alive and her brother was not.

Doyle, who is angry that Carroll would even be eligible for parole, said that he should remain in prison based not only on the murder of her brother, but on the other serious charges that he was convicted of, including criminal possession of a weapon, multiple charges of robbery and others.

A family member, who asked not to be identified, said last week, "My family is still grieving after 25 years. We do not want to see [Carroll] go free."

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