U.S. Attorney Lelling fights cop-killing bomber’s appeal to get out of prison due to COVID-19
An appeal by a notorious Boston bomber to be released from prison in order to escape the coronavirus leads US attorney Andrew Lelling to fight a murderer who has “blown apart” a police officer and “mutilated” his partner for life.
Lelling appealed against Alfred Trenkler’s motion late Monday evening when family and friends of policeman Jeremiah Hurley and injured partner Francis Foley supported the move.
The 64-year-old Trenkler was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1994. He has always admitted his innocence, but claims a bad heart puts him at risk due to COVID-19 while incarcerated in Tucson, Arizona. He asks a federal judge in Boston to reduce his sentence and allow him to move to Brunswick, Maine with a half-brother.
Trenkler was convicted along with another man in the 1991 Roslindale bombing. The intended target has escaped injury.
According to Lelling, Trenkler is being looked after behind bars.
“The Bureau of Prisons has gone to great lengths to stop the virus from spreading inside its facilities, get as many suitable inmates as possible into home detention, and distribute available vaccines in accordance with CDC guidelines,” Lelling said.
Regarding Trenkler’s heart problems, he was given a pacemaker, and Lelling adds, “Contrary to the portrayal of Trenkler’s health in his movement, he is nowhere near his deathbed.”
He was given a biventricular pacemaker and his heart condition is improving, Lelling said.
“Trenkler’s medical team has rated him ‘very fit’ and in fact Trenkler has been exercising and continuing to exercise regularly, including jumping jacks and push-ups, before and after his pacemaker change in June 2020,” Lelling said.
Lelling urges the court to be wary of Trenkler’s “multitude” of appeals to have his conviction waived and life imprisonment.
Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley, Jr.
Trenkler “designed and built a remote-controlled bomb … with two or three sticks of dynamite” that killed “Officer Jeremiah Hurley, a married father of four.”
The bomb also maimed “Officer Hurley’s partner, Officer Francis Foley,” who was “seriously injured”. He lost an eye, had multiple surgeries and had to leave the job and career he loved behind forever, ”Lelling writes.
Trenkler was found guilty of first degree willful murder.
“The court aptly described the defendant’s offense as” a terrible crime “and found that” one absolutely innocent person doing their job was literally blown apart and another seriously injured and maimed, “added Lelling.
“The fact that one police officer was killed while doing his duty to protect and serve the public and another police officer who did the same and suffered life-changing injuries makes Trenkler’s crime all the more reprehensible,” he added.
Adding 26 years in prison is not enough.
“Members of the families of the officers who suffered terribly the day that bomb exploded and have continued to suffer every day since, and who are faithful witnesses to the memory of Officer Hurley and the continued suffering of Officer Foley, are themselves victims of.” Trenkler heinous crime, ”Lelling writes. “The government respectfully urges the court to reject Trenkler’s motion to reduce his sentence.”
Story of the case
Prosecutors argued at Trenkler’s 1993 federal trial that he built the deadly bomb for Thomas Shay Jr., his friend and alleged lover.
They claimed Shay wanted to kill his father, Thomas L. Shay Sr., in order to get revenge for abuse and to redeem insurance funds. The bomb was placed under Shay Sr.’s Buick in 1986. It exploded when patrol officer Jeremiah Hurley tried to dismantle it in Shay Sr.’s driveway.
Shay Jr.’s attorney argued that Shay Sr. was the culprit, but the jury wasn’t convinced. Shay Jr. was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Trenkler received two life sentences for making the bomb.
After two senior Boston police officers read a copy of Perfectly Innocent, a 700-page manuscript by Morrison Bonpasse, a bitter and hardworking Trenkler supporter, they ordered a review of the case in 2009. The then US attorney Carmen Ortiz decided nothing new to “undermine” the case.