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Convicted cop killer Cleo Roy granted parole in 1976 slaying

New Hampshire Union Leader

October 04. 2016 10:46AM
Cleo Roy faced a parole board hearing Tuesday morning in Concord. He shot and killed Manchester police officer Ralph Miller in 1976. (Dave Lane/Union Leader)

CONCORD — The state granted parole Tuesday to Cleo Roy, who at 15 gunned down Manchester police officer Ralph Miller and then spent nearly 40 years in prison.

Roy, 55, sat with his hands folded and nodded his head slightly as Parole Board Chairman Donna Sytek announced the decision.

Arthur Miller, Ralph's younger brother, expressed his disappointment Tuesday in a statement to the New Hampshire Union Leader.

"It's a shame that Cleo Roy did not stop to think that behind the badge was a person with a family, parents who loved him and an all-around good human being that was fun to be around," Miller said. "Mr. Roy can now see the light of day. I wish I could say the same for Ralph, who had it all taken away."

Ralph Miller was 25, a rookie officer with a 3-year-old daughter and a baby on the way when Roy shot him on Oct. 2, 1976. Roy had been partying with friends while his parents were out of town.

Roy acknowledged in his statement Tuesday that he boasted to some older friends he wanted to impress that "if the cops showed up I would kill them."

Roy, who who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison, said the killing is a decision he has questioned and regretted ever since.

"I cannot and will not attempt to make an excuse nor can I ever repay what I stole from Officer Miller's wife and particularly what I stole from his children," he said. "I killed a husband, a father, a son and a cop for the twisted reason of wanting to gain status with the older boys that were there."

Roy expressed similar remorse at his first parole hearing five years ago, when the board unanimously denied his parole.

Sytek, who sat on the board for Roy's 2011 hearing, said since then he had completed programs to enhance his employment opportunities, established strong family and community support as well as contacted police in the undisclosed community where he and fiancee Gloria Lipnickas plan to relocate.

Sytek also noted Roy has remained free of disciplinary problems in the last five years. Roy was charged with killing fellow inmate Thomas Lamb in 1988 at a federal prison in Marion, Ill., where he was transferred after escaping from prison in New Hampshire in 1977. Roy was never convicted.

Roy was indicted on federal racketeering charges in 2002 with 39 other individuals associated with the Aryan Brotherhood, a gang of white inmates with a suspected prison network across the nation. He pleaded guilty to and was sentenced in February 2005 to 121 months in prison.

Roy has since renounced the gang and told Sytek he no longer has any association with it. "I started feeling I needed to go in another direction with my life," Roy said.

Board members Sytek, Joseph Nadeau and Linda Paquette agreed to Roy's parole after a 30-minute hearing.

Sytek made it clear to Roy that his release is conditional.

"You will be on parole for the rest of your life," Sytek said as she explained some of the terms under which Roy must abide or risk revocation of his parole.

Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard addressed the board during the meeting with remarks acknowledging Roy's efforts at rehabilitation but in no way supporting his release.

"I appreciate hearing the regret and the tone in which he said it, but I don't want to lose sight of who officer Ralph Miller was," Willard said. "As you make your decision and Mr. Roy moves on with his life, always remember the person who was lost here. It was Ralph Miller. He was a wonderful man and father, brother, son and colleague."

Roy had been transferred to the minimum-security level at the New Hampshire State Prison in January, and then a halfway house in the spring.

Once he is released, Roy must not go to Manchester or have any contact with the Miller family. He will also be on intensive supervision for the first 90 days, subject to more frequent reports to his parole officer, random drug tests and possibly a curfew.

Courts Crime Concord Manchester

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