New York parole board to release convicted cop killer 46 years after cold-blooded murder
Anthony Curtis Blanks, convicted of the 1976 murder of Larchmont Patrolman Arthur Dematte, to get out of prison next week
New York state’s parole board is to release a convicted cop killer decades after the cold-blooded murder.
Five decades ago, Anthony Curtis Blanks "assaulted, pursued and executed" Larchmont Patrolman Arthur Dematte on Oct. 12, 1976, according to the Larchmont Police Benevolent Association.
FOX 5 NY reported that Dematte, a 20-year-veteran of the force, was shot and killed by his own gun after trying to rescue Blanks from railroad tracks. He is survived by his wife and four children.
Blanks was convicted of first-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon in 1978.
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He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. But after 46 years, the now 69-year-old will be released after the New York State Board of Parole Commissioners approved him for parole last month.
"My husband got a call to save a man from the railroad tracks. And he got that man off before that man got killed by a train – safely off the tracks. And that man killed him," the fallen officer’s widow, Alice DeMatte, told reporters at a news conference marking the 46th anniversary of the killing. "It’s been a lot of years and it’s still difficult to talk about. I was just numb and just hope that he doesn’t hurt somebody else."
Blanks could leave Sing Sing Correctional Facility as early as Oct. 18. The convict first became eligible for parole in 2001 but had been denied parole multiple times since then.
The union held a vigil on Wednesday evening in the fallen officer’s remembrance.
In an Oct. 5 statement, the union said its "membership has long stood united against the approval of parole for Anthony Blanks" and was "appalled" by the decision, calling it "a cold, apathetic re-victimization of the entire Dematte family by the State of New York."
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"Blanks took Officer Dematte’s life in a brutal, heartless fashion and issued him an eternal life sentence. Blanks did not act in a defensive or reactionary manner that day; he acted as an assailant, a predator and executioner," the union said. "Officer Dematte and his family continue to serve their life sentence, until the end of time. Anthony Blanks should have received the same eternal sentence that he gave Arthur Dematte, only without the violence, eternal life in prison. Our prayers and support remain with the Dematte family, who are now forced to deal with the same grief, fear and agony they were once subjected to by the depraved actions of Anthony Curtis Blanks."