A state judge has blasted a cop-killer's parole board for considering letters from cops in denying the 74-year-old murderer's release after 43 years in prison.
John Ruzas - who is up for parole for the 11th time - shot to death Trooper Emerson Dillon on the Thruway near Canastota in 1974. Ruzas earlier had robbed a DeWitt jewelry store.
Ruzas, who was 32 years old at the time, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. He has gotten chances at parole for nearly two decades.
State police have, for years, made a public appeal to keep Ruzas behind bars.
But Hudson Valley Judge Victor Grossman this month held the parole board in contempt for considering dozens of opposition letters that came from police officers decrying Ruzas's murder.
Grossman said considering those letters violated the law. The judge ordered a new parole board to consider Ruzas' bid for freedom, forbidding the previous parole board members from participating in the new panel, Syracuse.com reports.