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Convicted killer who shot Richmond cop denied parole

RICHMOND, Va. — Convicted killer Kenneth Wayne Woodfin will remain in jail after a former Richmond Police officer’s letter writing campaign to the Virginia Parole Board.

Woodfin shot Cheryl Nici in the face on October 26, 1984 outside of the Marriott Hotel on Broad Street after he killed his wife, sister-in-law and a friend.

“When I brought my head up, the bullet went in here down through my mouth and launched an eighth of an inch from my artery and lodged in my neck,” Nici said.

Woodfin was sentenced to three life terms for the murders, but he is now eligible for parole.

Discretionary parole is only available for those prisoners who committed crimes prior to January 1, 1995.

Virginia abolished discretionary parole that year.

Still, there are thousands of prisoners, like Woodfin, who come up for parole every year.

“He’s 67 years old right now, he’s in a minimum security facility,” Nici said.

For his parole hearing this year, Nici helped organize a letter writing campaign urging the board not to release him.

“You get out there, and you do something to make sure the person doesn’t get out,” Nici said.

Attorney Steve Northup represents prisoners who are up for parole pro bono.

“I do know the parole board takes into consideration the voices of victim’s family members,” Northup said.

Northup said the board also considers testimony from people supporting the prisoner, and the prisoner’s history while incarcerated.

Still, he said Virginia is the stingiest state when it comes to paroling prisoners.

“Fewer than 5 percent of those considered get parole…it’s the lowest in the country,” Northup said.

But, in Woodfin’s case, Nici said the board made the right decision.

“He is a very sick individual, and he needs to remain incarcerated,” Nici said.

If you want to have input in the parole process for a prisoner, visit the Virginia Department of Corrections website.

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