NYPD squad car, file image.

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NYPD widow urges parole board to keep cop killer behind bars

October 12, 2018 - 11:12 am
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The widow of late NYPD Officer Joseph Piagentini is trying to keep her husband's killer behind bars.

Diane Piagentini has asked the New York State Parole Board to deny parole to Anthony Bottom.

“The loss of my Joe has had a devastating impact on my life and that of our two daughters. Time has the ability to erase from the public memory how horrendous the murder of Joe and Waverly was in 1971 but it has not erased that memory from us or from the damage done to our lives," she previously said.

She's been joined in that effort by the PBA.

“I challenge anyone to cite a more horrendous crime than the planned, cold-blooded, sadistic assassinations of Police Officers Piagentini and Jones, the details of which are shocking.  Parole is not supposed to be, and I am quoting the law here, ‘incompatible with the welfare of society’ nor should it ‘deprecate' the seriousness of his crime as to undermine respect for the law.’  And that is exactly what happens when you release cop-killers. It undermines respect for the law and deprecates the seriousness of the crime because killing a police officer is a direct attack on the authority that protects society." PBA President Pat Lynch added.

Bottom was convicted in the killing of officer piagentini in May 1971 in Harlem, and in the shooting death of his partner Officer Waverly Jones.

Bottom is seeking parole under new, more liberal guidelines which have already resulted in the release of Herman Bell who was also convicted in the killings.

"Anthony Bottom and his already released partner, Herman Bell, failed to show any remorse or take responsibility for their crimes until it became apparent under the new guidelines that being old and faking remorse was all that is required to get out of prison," Piagentini said.

Piagentini appeared in a campaign ad for GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro. She slammed the policy that resulted in Bell's release.

“It betrays the trust of police families everywhere and devalues the life of my brave husband... Governor Cuomo, my kids and I have lived with the pain every day for over 47 years, and there’s no parole from that.” she said.

Fox News reports Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticized the decision to free Bell, but said the panel was not under his control.

“If I were on the parole board, I would not have made that decision,” Cuomo said. “The parole board is an independent board, but I would not have made that decision.”

Bottom and Bell were both sentenced to 25 years to life. Piagentini was to make another statement in front of the board on Friday.