He Killed His Family When He Was 16, Was Just Granted Parole

Brian Britton fatally shot his parents, brother, and shot and injured his sister
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2023 2:00 AM CDT
He Killed His Family When He Was 16, Was Just Granted Parole
   (Brian Britton)

On March 22, 1989, 16-year-old Brian Britton shot his parents, 8-year-old brother, and 18-year-old sister in their home in Poughkeepsie, New York. Only his sister survived. Now, after 33 years behind bars, Britton has been granted parole, the Poughkeepsie Journal reports. He must complete community preparation, and the earliest he might be released is April 10. He was last denied parole in November 2021; that decision was appealed, and he was granted a de novo interview that took place earlier this month. It's not clear why the parole board decided to grant him parole, though a state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision statement says board members consider factors including victims' statements as well as the inmate's "criminal history, institutional accomplishments, potential to successfully reintegrate into the community, and perceived risk to public safety.”

Britton's sister, Sherry Shafer, who was 18 when she was shot and her parents, Marlene and Dennis, and brother Jason were killed, has in the past argued her brother should remain imprisoned, USA Today reports. The Dutchess County District Attorney's Office has objected to the decision to release Britton. "Mr. Britton, to my knowledge, has never in any direct way expressed remorse for what he did," the chief assistant DA says. "What set of facts did they use to parole him without any reflection of remorse?" He says his office is waiting to hear details including where Britton will live, especially important in light of the fact that Shafer is still living in the community "and we want to keep her informed ... and take care of her safety." (More New York stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.