BOSTON — The man convicted of building the bomb that killed Boston police officer, Jeremiah Hurley, in 1991, is trying to get off federal prison on a COVID-19 compassionate release.
Alfred Trenkler’s legal team, which includes a retired federal judge, is claiming that Trenkler, at 64 years old, suffers from an advanced heart condition and that he is at risk of death if he remains incarcerated at the federal prison in Tuscon, Arizona.
All four of Officer Hurley’s children are opposing Trenkler’s request.
“Everyone has a little compassion here and there, but there is no reason for this man to be out of jail, especially on a COVID-19,” Lisa Quinn, Officer Hurley’s daughter told me.
On October 28, 1991, Officer Hurley answered a call for a suspicious device in the driveway at a home in Roslindale.
The device exploded, killing Officer Hurley and badly wounding another Boston police officer, Francis Foley.
Trenkler was convicted of building the deadly bomb for another man, Thomas Shay Jr.
Federal prosecutors alleged Shay had the bomb built to kill his father, Thomas Shay Sr, in a bid to collect insurance money.
Trenkler has maintained his innocence and recently, the New England Innocence Project began advocating for his release, alleging evidence presented at trial would not hold up to scrutiny today.
Officer Hurley’s children suspect the COVID-19 release request might be a backdoor way to release Trenkler.
“I feel as though all of this is happening behind our back,” Leanne Teehan, Officer Hurley’s daughter told me. “Apparently (the COVID-19 request) was done in June. He applied for this compassion in June. And we are getting wind of it, come the end of December.”
Officer Hurley’s children also question the wisdom of releasing Trenkler during the pandemic.
“There’s a vaccine, people are getting it. He would be safer in an isolated federal prison than being out on the streets, exposed to the general public,” Hurley’s son, Donald Powell said.
The pain of what happened to Officer Jeremiah Hurley in Roslindale is never far away for his children.
They believe Trenkler should stay where he is, behind bars, while they continue to suffer their father’s loss.
“Part of the reason I do what I do, I’m a police officer, is watching him come home every day. Kids look up to their dads. He was our hero,” David Powell said of his Dad.
The Boston US Attorney’s office has until Monday to respond to Trenkler’s COVID-19 compassionate release request.
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