’70s radical David Gilbert granted parole in Brink’s robbery

Oct 26, 2021, 12:39 PM | Updated: Oct 27, 2021, 9:51 am

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Former Weather Underground radical David Gilbert has been granted parole after 40 years behind bars for his role in a deadly 1981 Brink’s robbery that was a violent echo of left-wing extremism born in the 1960s, the state corrections department said Tuesday.

Gilbert, 76, has been imprisoned since shortly after the infamously botched armored car robbery in which a guard and two police officers were killed. He became eligible for parole only after his 75 years-to-life sentence was shortened by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in August, hours before he left office.

Gilbert appeared before the state parole board Oct. 19 and was subsequently granted parole, Thomas Mailey, a spokesperson for the New York state corrections department, said Tuesday.

He will be able to leave Shawangunk Correctional Facility in the Hudson Valley next month.

Supporters — including his son, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin — lobbied to have Gilbert join other defendants in the case who have been released from prison.

In an email, Boudin said, “I am so grateful to the parole board and to everyone who has supported my father during his more than 40 years in prison. I’m thinking about the other children affected by this crime and want to make sure that nothing I do or say further upsets the victims’ families. Their loved ones will never be forgotten.”

But even the prospect of Gilbert’s release had angered some local officials in the Hudson Valley and family members who said his release would insult the memory of the slain men.

In a statement, Rockland County Executive Ed Day called the decision a “cruel and unjust slap in the face to the families” of those killed.

“Former Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Parole Board should be ashamed for allowing this domestic terrorist to walk free on our streets,” Day said. “There’s no reason that David Gilbert should not have to face the full consequences of his heinous crimes, no matter how much time has passed.”

Gilbert and other former members of the Weather Underground, a militant group that grew out of the anti-Vietnam War movement, had joined with members of the Black Liberation Army in the Oct. 20, 1981, robbery. They stole $1.6 million in cash from an armored car outside the Nanuet Mall near the Hudson River community of Nyack.

Brink’s guard Peter Paige and two Nyack police officers, Sgt. Edward O’Grady and Officer Waverly Brown, were killed in the holdup and ensuing shootout at a nearby roadblock.

Though unarmed, Gilbert was charged with robbery and murder, since people were killed during the crime. Also charged was Chesa Boudin’s mother, Kathy Boudin. The boy was 14 months old when his parents were imprisoned.

In a sometimes raucous trial, Gilbert and two other defendants cast themselves as freedom fighters and deemed the proceedings illegitimate. At one court session, Gilbert and defendant Judith Clark raised their fists and shouted “Free the land!”

Kathy Boudin avoided a harsher sentence by pleading guilty and was paroled in 2003. Clark was granted parole in 2019, three years after Cuomo commuted her sentence. She had been denied parole after her first hearing two years earlier.

Gilbert was not eligible for parole until 2056 before Cuomo commuted his sentence. The former governor said Gilbert made significant contributions to AIDS education and prevention programs, and worked as a tutor, law library clerk, paralegal assistant, teacher’s aide and aide in various prison programs.

Chesa Boudin was raised by his parents’ Weather Underground compatriots, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

He ran a progressive campaign for San Francisco district attorney in 2019 in which he said visiting his parents in prison showed him the criminal justice system was broken.

___

Matthews reported from New York City.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - R. Kelly appears during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago, Sept. 17, ...
Associated Press

R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in sex trafficking case

Disgraced R&B superstar R. Kelly was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in prison for using his fame to sexually abuse young fans.
15 hours ago
FILE - The Flint water plant tower is seen, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, in Flint, Mich. A Michigan Supr...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: Years later, Flint water court fight drags on

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan authorities have long promised to hold key officials criminally responsible for lead contamination and health problems arising from a disastrous water switch in Flint in 2014. There’s not much to show more than eight years later. The latest: an extraordinary rebuke Tuesday from the state Supreme Court, which unanimously dismissed indictments […]
15 hours ago
FILE-- Gas is advertised for more than $6 per gallon at a gas station in Sacramento, Calif., Friday...
Associated Press

California lawmakers to vote on $307.9 billion spending plan

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers on Wednesday will vote on a plan to spend $308 billion in taxpayer money over the next year as the coffers of the world’s fifth largest economy continue to swell during the pandemic. The centerpiece of the operating budget crafted by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders is […]
15 hours ago
FILE - President Joe Biden speaks during the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate in the Sou...
Associated Press

Most say nation on wrong track, including Dems: AP-NORC poll

WASHINGTON (AP) — An overwhelming and growing majority of Americans say the U.S. is heading in the wrong direction, including nearly 8 in 10 Democrats, according to a new poll that finds deep pessimism about the economy plaguing President Joe Biden. Eighty-five percent of U.S. adults say the country is on the wrong track, and […]
15 hours ago
Lev Parnas, a former associate of Rudy Giuliani, arrives at the federal courthouse with his wife Sv...
Associated Press

Giuliani’s former Ukraine fixer gets 20 months in prison

NEW YORK (AP) — Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani who was a figure in President Donald Trump’s first impeachment investigation, was sentenced Wednesday to a year and eight months in prison for fraud and campaign finance crimes. Parnas, 50, had sought leniency on the grounds that he’d cooperated with the Congressional probe of […]
15 hours ago
Follow @ktar923...
Sponsored Content by Arizona Department of Health Services

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
’70s radical David Gilbert granted parole in Brink’s robbery