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Officials Call For Reexamination Of Parole For Convicted Murderers Of 16-Year-Old In Area

Richard LaBarbera Photo Credit: New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
Paula Bohevesky Photo Credit: Rockland County Government

An area state senator is calling on New York's Parole Board to re-examine and deny parole for the convicted murderers of 16-year-old Paula Bohevesky in 1980.

In October 1980, Richard LaBarbera and Robert McCain attacked Bohovesky, an honor student who was picked up off the street a few blocks from her Pearl River home. She was “brutally” beaten, stabbed and left alone to die in a pool of her own blood with her clothes strewn about.

Last month, LaBarbera was granted parole and is to be released, and McCain is expected to have his case heard in the coming weeks to determine if he will be released from prison after nearly four decades.

In response, Sen. David Carlucci wrote a lengthy letter to the New York State Parole Board to “express his strong opposition to the board’s decision to grant LaBarbera parole,” noting that “(he) believes in the opportunity for reform and second chances, (but) this crime was particularly egregious.”

Carlucci added that McCain is not deserving of parole either.

“These two men viciously raped and murdered an innocent child. Nearly four decades later, neither has taken responsibility for their actions. No remorse has ever been shown. These are not men deserving of a second chance. Paula never got a second chance. The Board has previously indicated as such.”

Both LaBarbera and McCain have been denied parole seven times since first becoming eligible in 2005.

“The tragedy of this crime still resonates deeply with the Bohovesky family and the Pearl River community,” the senator said. “Releasing the men who stole Paula’s life only deepens this wound. This murder shook our community to its core, and the idea of releasing its perpetrators has residents reliving this nightmare.”

In a statement, Rockland County Legislator Alden Wolfe condemned the decision to grant LaBarbera parole, calling it “a complete insult to Paula’s memory and to the life she could have lived if not for the monstrous actions of her convicted killers.”

Wolfe noted that “neither killer has ever taken responsibility for their deeds nor showed remorse.”

“Paula’s mother and brother will never be free of this loss, and they will never be paroled from the pain and suffering this crime has caused them,” he added. “I utterly condemn this parole and the parole board for this unexplainable and despicable decision.

Two days after the attack on Bohovesky, both men were arrested and charged in connection to Bohovesky’s death, which the medical examiner called “the most brutal he had ever seen” at the time of her death.

Carlucci stated that he is requesting the Parole Board re-examine the release of LaBarbera and reject McCain’s application for parole, saying “some are deserving of a second chance, these killers are not among them.”

"The Parole Board should have never released Richard LaBarbera who was accused of brutally raping and murdering 16-year-old Paula Bohovesky," he said."Paula never got to go home and neither should LaBarbera or his accomplice, Robert McCain.

“To this day, these men have never shown remorse for their crimes. The Parole Board has only reopened this tragedy for Paula's family and the Pearl River community, rubbing salt into a deep wound. It’s my request that the Parole Board reexamine LaBarbera's release and reject McCain's application for parole."

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