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Killer Of NY State Trooper Paroled From Fishkill

John Ruzas, New York State Police Trooper Emerson Dillon
John Ruzas, New York State Police Trooper Emerson Dillon Photo Credit: COURTESY: NYS Dept of Corrections (left), NYSP (right)

A man convicted of slaying a New York State Police trooper was released on parole Monday from the Fishkill Correctional Facility in Dutchess County, authorities confirmed.

John Ruzas -- who shot Trooper Emerson Dillon dead in 1974 -- was released to an address in Suffolk County, the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said.

Ruzas, 74, had been denied parole 11 times after being sentenced to 25 years to life.

State troopers and other supporters of law enforcement fought hard to keep Ruzas being bars. The NYS Troopers' Police Benevolent Association went all the way to the state Supreme Court.

"I truly believe that a parole release from prison for murdering a United States Law Enforcement Officer in the line of duty is sending the absolute WRONG message to both CRIMINALS and to our Great Nation as a whole," retired NYSP Sgt. Thomas Webb wrote.

But the justices upheld a state judge who cited Ruzas's age, the fact that he needs a cane to get around and is hard of hearing, had a clean prison record for more than 25 years and expressed remorse for killing the lawman in cold blood.

Dillon was on patrol on the New York State Thruway when he stopped a speeding car in the Madison County town of Canastota on Oct. 24, 1974 -- unaware that Ruzas, already on parole for robberies in New York City, had just held up a jewelry store in DeWitt along with another man in the vehicle.

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