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February 6, 2014

State nixes parole to killer of Milford woman

David Dart, a convicted killer from Portlandville, has been rejected for parole from state prison, with a three-member panel of the state Parole Board concluding his freedom would jeopardize public safety.

Dart, 44, has served more than 24 years behind bars for the Sept. 12, 1989, knifing death of Milford High School graduate Gillian “Jill” Gibbons. The victim’s sister, Jennifer Kirkpatrick, led the opposition to his release, and she said Monday more than 3,000 people contacted the Parole Board and urged that Dart be kept behind bars.

Dart was denied parole because his release would be “incompatible with the welfare of society and would so deprecate the serious nature of the crime as to undermine respect for the law, “ the parole panel wrote in a decision that was released to The Daily Star by the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

Kirkpatrick advised her supporters that Dart has a chilling record of accosting women and would likely be a threat if released from prison. She gave a victim-impact statement to the parole board as part of its proceedings leading up to the decision to deny him release.

The board said in a statement it considered Dart’s plan for release as well as his “institutional adjustment, including discipline and program participation” along with his “rehabilitation efforts.”

“More compelling, however, is the callous disregard you had for the life of the young female college student who you brutally stabbed to death,” the three-member parole board panel said in its decision. “The victim’s lifeless body was discovered by her sister several hours later. During the interview, you exhibited little insight into your motivation for this type of heinous crime. You had a pattern of dangerous behavior in the community dating back to Family Court.”

It was Dart’s first application for parole since he was imprisoned in connection with the grisly attack on Gibbons, who was planning to enroll in a school for aspiring airline flight attendants.

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