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VACP President's Letter to Governor Northam Opposing Parole Release of Vincent Martin

The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police (VACP) is strongly opposed to the parole release of Vincent Martin, who was convicted in 1980 of the brutal capital murder of Richmond Police Officer Michael P. Connors.
PDF of Letter

Hon. Ralph Northam
Governor of Virginia
P.O. Box 1475
Richmond, VA 23218

Dear Governor Northam:

The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police (VACP) is strongly opposed to the parole release of Vincent Martin, who was convicted in 1980 of the brutal capital murder of Richmond Police Officer Michael P. Connors. Patrolman Connors was murdered during a traffic stop immediately after an armed robbery of a 7-11 store in Richmond.

Evidence showed that, as Patrolman Connors approached the vehicle, Vincent Martin exited the vehicle and fired one round from a .357 magnum, which struck Patrolman Connors in the throat. As Patrolman Connors lay on the ground, Martin then emptied his revolver into Patrolman Connors' face at point-blank range.

Martin was convicted of Capital Murder by a jury that originally sentenced Martin to death. Due to a technical error in instructions to the jury, this sentence was appealed and changed to life in prison. Martin was denied parole in 2018 because he was convicted of a crime while in prison. Martin also had two prior convictions of Armed Robbery.

The VACP urges you to take the following actions immediately:
  1. Issue an order preventing the release of Vincent Martin
  2. Direct that an independent investigation be conducted into the process used by the Parole Board to arrive at the decision to grant parole to Vincent Martin
Nothing can justify the release of someone who committed the heinous murder of an officer of the law. The family of Michael Connors is grieving over the possibility that he would be so dishonored. The release of Vincent Martin would be an insult to the service of every Virginia law enforcement officer, past and present.

As our Governor, we believe it is imperative that you stand behind the law enforcement officers that protect our communities and the law abiding citizens of this Commonwealth. Please feel free to contact me or our Executive Director, Dana Schrad, if you have any questions.

Regards,
Chief Howard B. Hall, President
Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police