Police killers have parole hearings this month

Police killers have parole hearings this month


The first of two parole hearings this month for the killers of 26-year-old Niles police officer John Utlak will be Wednesday in the Toledo Correctional Institute.

Wednesday’s hearing is for Fred E. Joseph Jr., the younger of the two teens convicted of killing Utlak Dec. 8, 1982, near Waddell Park. A similar hearing will be Oct. 11 at the Trumbull Correctional Institute for Randy Fellows.

Both men were convicted of aggravated murder and two specifications — that they killed a peace officer and that a robbery was involved. They were sentenced to life in prison with parole eligibility after 30 years.

Both men have served a little more than 29 years in prison, with Joseph now 46 years old and Fellows 47.

The hearing involves one or two members of the parole board offering a recommendation to the parole board on whether either man should be released.

Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins, who was chief prosecutor of the criminal division at the time Joseph and Fellows went on trial and participated in both trials, has written to the parole board objecting to their release.

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