A New York man who has spent 33 years in prison for killing his parents and brother and injuring his sister is slated for release at the earliest on April 10, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.
Brian Britton, now 50, was 16 when he shot and killed his father Dennis, his mother Marlene, and brother Jason, and shot his sister, Sherry Shafer, who was 18 at the time, on March 22, 1989, in their town of Poughkeepsie home.
Britton was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
Britton appeared before the parole board on March 6 and he will be released upon finishing his community preparation, which could be on, or after, April 10, a state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision statement said.
By law, the board also considers recommendations from the district attorney, sentencing court and the defense lawyer.
The Board of Parole’s November 2021 decision to deny parole for Mr. Britton was appealed and he was granted a de novo interview in March.
D.A.’s office: Britton ‘has never in any direct way expressed remorse’
The board’s discussion and reasons for granting his release weren’t available. The board declined to comment on the reasons it granted Britton’s release this time, through a department spokesperson.
The Dutchess County District Attorney’s office opposed Britton’s parole in a letter it sent to the board in advance of the March 6 hearing, and it objects to the decision reached by the parole board, according to Chief Assistant District Attorney Matthew Weishaupt.
“Mr. Britton, to my knowledge, has never in any direct way expressed remorse for what he did,” Weishaupt said Tuesday. “What set of facts did they use to parole him without any reflection of remorse?”
Weishaupt said his office is waiting to hear back from the board about the circumstances that will surround Britton’s release, including where he is expected to be living.
He said Britton’s sister is still living in the community, “and we want to keep her informed…and take care of her safety.”
Shafer could not be reached for comment. She has in the past lobbied for her brother to remain in prison, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported.
According to a transcript of the November 2021 parole board meeting at which it denied parole, which the Poughkeepsie Journal had obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request, the board said at the time that releasing Britton would “depreciate the serious nature” of his act “as to undermine respect for the law,” the board said at the time. He had come up for parole several times previously.