1981 Brink's heist getaway driver Judith Clarke released from prison, will now live in Manhattan

The 69-year-old was part of the group that attempted the heist of a $1.6 million armored truck during which time two police officers and a Brink's guard were killed


                            1981 Brink's heist getaway driver Judith Clarke released from prison, will now live in Manhattan

Judith Clarke, who was convicted of being the getaway driver in the 1981 Brink's truck robbery in upstate New York, was released on parole on Friday. The 69-year-old, who was a radical leftist was part of the group that attempted the heist of a $1.6 million armored truck during which time two police officers - Sergeant Edward O'Grady and Officer Waverly Brown - were killed. So was Peter Paige, who was one of Brink's guard.

Thomas Mailey, a representative of state corrections said that Clarke made her first report to her parole officer after leaving prison. Mailey also said that she will "be closely supervised to ensure her full compliance with all of the conditions of her parole."

Clarke will now live in Manhattan. Her lawyers have informed that Clarke will stay with a friend and work with Hour Children, an organization that helps incarcerated women and their children rejoin the community.

The scene of 1981 Brink's heist. (Source: AP)

 

Clarke was a member of Weather Underground and its offshoot May 19 Communist Organization and the Brink's heist was expected to fund radical groups.

Clarke even refused to participate in the trial and represented herself. She was sentenced to 75 years to life in prison, but governor Andrew Cuomo granted her clemency in 2016. 

According to a report in CBS News, Clarke's family in a statement said, "While this is a wonderful day for Judy Clark and her family, she recognizes that news of her release may cause upset to the victims' families and wants to express her ongoing concern for these communities. She plans to live her life outside, as she did inside, in atonement for the harm she caused."

On the parole board decision dated April 17 when Clarke's release was granted, it was noted that her sentence was partly a result of 'unrepentant behavior and refusal of counsel'. It also noted that she had disavowed her anarchist political views and apologized to the community and her victims. Her achievements during her time in prison were also listed down in the decision including her getting a master's degree, training service dogs and more. 

The Brink's robbery and related murders on October 20, 1981, were carried out by six Black Liberation Army members: Jeral Wayne Williams (Mutulu Shakur), Donald Weems (Kuwasi Balagoon), Samuel Brown (Solomon Bouines), Samuel Smith (Mtayari Shabaka Sundiata), Edward Joseph, and Cecilio "Chui" Ferguson; and four former members of the Weather Underground, now belonging to the May 19th Communist Organization, consisting of David Gilbert, Judith Alice Clark, Kathy Boudin, and Marilyn Buck.

All were arrested over the next five years, with the last person to be arrested being Williams, the ringleader of the robbery, in 1986.