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February 6, 2014

State nixes parole to killer of Milford woman

(Continued)

Dart’s parole hearing was held last week. Dart, confined to medium-security Otisville state prison, will be eligible for his regular parole hearing this sprint because he had earned the right to a special early hearing last week because of good prison behavior, officials said.

The parole hearing was initially scheduled to take place last November.

That hearing was postponed after The Daily Star contacted the state Department of Corrections and Supervision, inquired about the parole hearing and pointed out that Kirkpatrick, had not been directly notified, even though she signed up on a state web made site to get such notices

When notified by The Daily Star that Dart’s bid for release was denied, Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl said: “I think it’s the only reasonable decision that could be made.”

State Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, had also urged that Dart be kept in prison, contending his release would jeopardize public safety. Seward is backing legislation that would keep violent criminals from being automatically considered for release every two years, and extend that waiting period to up to five years.

Kirkpatrick has been rallying public support for that measure.

Gibbons was killed inside the municipal parking lot in Oneonta, where she was confronted by Dart when she went to retrieve her car. She was stabbed repeatedly, authorities said.

Muehl has called Dart “a psychopath” who likely would have accosted more women had he not been apprehended by Oneonta city police following an intensive investigation.

According to a parole hearing transcript obtained by The Daily Star, the parole commissioners asked Dart why he denied killing Gibbons when he was first arrested, during his trial and even after he was found guilty by an Otsego County jury.

“You really can’t better yourself until you come to grips with anything and everything you have done in your past,” he told the commissioners.

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