The man convicted of killing a disabled boy then driving around and buying video games in 2007 was denied parole this week.
Edwin Tirado, 40, was serving as an aide for O.D. Heck Developmental Center in Niskayuna when he smothered 13-year-old Jonathan Carey. Tirado is serving a state prison term of 5 to 15 years on a second-degree manslaughter conviction.
The Parole Board denied Tirado’s release request following a hearing Tuesday.
Tirado smothered Carey, who was autistic, after the boy undid his seat belt during an outing to Crossgates Mall in February 2007. An investigation that followed determined Tirado and a trainee drove around in a van for more than an hour after Carey stopped breathing.
Carey’s father, Michael Carey, whose activism on behalf of disabled children led to several changes in state law, said Friday that fight continues. Jonathan’s Law, passed after his son’s death, provides access to information for parents of disabled children, including records and reports on incidents and abuse.
Carey is fighting for the passage of other laws, including one that would require surveillance cameras in facilities for the disabled and their vehicles, which would act as a deterrent to inappropriate or dangerous behavior.
Carey said it’s been a battle over the past five years trying to get safeguards enacted for the care of the disabled because there are only a few vocal people trying to effect changes.
“Most people remain silent so the disabled have not had strong voices out there,” Carey said.
Tirado was interviewed by the Parole Board on May 22. In its decision, the board told Tirado an early release would be incompatible with the welfare and safety of the community.
“If released at this time, there is a reasonable probability that you would not live at liberty without violating the law,” the board’s decision reads. “You caused the death of a disabled child by inappropriately restraining the child and physically compressing the child’s body with your own causing him to step breathing. You then failed to summon medical attention, although you had a legal duty to do so,” the decision states.
Tirado’s next interview with the Parole Board is scheduled for May 2014.
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