A cold-blooded cop killer will remain behind bars at least another 20 months after being denied parole for gunning down an off-duty NYPD sergeant during a robbery.
Michael Levine, l., and his son, Keith
“I was told by the parole board that tens of thousands of letters and petitions came in from law enforcement officers all over country,” said the slain hero’s father, Michael Levine, a retired DEA agent who now teaches police and lectures on undercover tactics and informant handling.
A two-time convicted killer, Michael Alston was out of jail less than a month when he and two other thugs beat a man who’d just taken money from an ATM machine on West 57th Street in Manhattan just days after Christmas 1991.
Off-duty NYPD Sgt. Keith Levine saw what was happening and rushed to help. He chased the pack on foot, was shot twice and died.
Alston, now 54, got 15 years to life thanks to a 1993 plea bargain — courtesy of prosecutors who were afraid that an earlier confession from a wrongly arrested suspect could let the real shooter walk.
This was Alston’s third crack at parole. His next one comes up in December 2012.
The elder Levine wrote an impassioned letter to the Parole Board:
“I shouldn’t have to tell this or any parole board that if this man is set free while he can pull a trigger that’s what he will do: He will kill again, and again and again,” said Levine, who wrote the best-selling book “Deep Cover” and whose expert testimony in more than 300 cases nationwide have helped put criminals behind bars.
“To set a virus like this free is to condemn the children of some other father to death. And that what NYPD Sgt. Keith Richard Levine died trying to prevent.”
Others supported Levine’s campaign, including CLIFFVIEW PILOT and the Rockland County Legislature, which adopted a resolution asking that Alston’s bid be denied. (See: You can keep a cop killer behind bars: In memory of Sgt. Keith Levine).
Levine thanked them, along with several others, including “all those many, many brothers and sisters of mine who understand what its really all about and went that extra mile.
“My family and I thank all of you for your support. God bless you all. And watch your backs.”
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