Getaway Driver Judith Clark Denied Parole, Despite Commuted Sentence

enter Judith Clark has been in prison for 35 years for her role in a robbery in which three people, including two police officers and a security guard, were killed. Though her sentence, which had been set at 75 years, has been commuted to 35 years by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the NY state parole board elected to deny Clark last week.


source Clark had attended the University of Chicago and had a history of attaching herself to various radical groups. At the time of the robbery, she was 32 years old and had linked up with anti-war activists The Weather Underground. She and members of the Black Liberation Army robbed a Brink’s armored car at a mall in Nayack, New York on October 20, 1981. During a gun battle with authorities, NY police officers Waverly Brown and Edward O’Gray II were killed, along with Brink’s security guard Peter Paige. Another security guard, Joseph Trombino, was severely injured when shot in the shoulder. It took three surgeries to reattach his arm which, according to the New York Times, had been left “hung on by only a thread.” Oddly enough, Trombino would go back to working as an armed guard only two years after the robbery and was later killed in 9/11, as he and his truck were in the basement of the Trade Center during the terrorist attack.

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go to site Both law enforcement groups and family members of those killed railed against Clark’s clemency. “She knew everything about it,” Michael Paige, Peter Paige’s son argued. “She knew the plan was: Kill everyone who got in our way.” Paige was 16 years old when his father was fatally shot.

Judith Clark. (Image: Photo by Nan Goldin/ Clark’s daughter, Harriet Clark, feels like her mother has served her time. She argued that because Clark was the getaway driver of a second car, her mother was not as culpable as those that did the killing. “My mother did not kill anyone and it’s hard for me to understand who is served by making her die in prison, which is what decisions like this eventually amount to,” she said.

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follow During her incarceration, Clark has renounced her former actions, earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree, and worked on founding an HIV/AIDS education program. Authorities point out that it took several years for Clark to renounce her past and express regret, however. Clark’s next parole hearing is not until 2019.

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Image: Judith Clark and her daughter, Harriet, in 1981, prior to the robbery. Courtesy of Harriet Clark/Family photo

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