Senator Young Leads Effort to Keep Kindt Behind Bars
Kindt to stay in prison
Parole denied for rapist, murderer
By Amanda Grabowski
By Amanda GrabowskiLifestyles Editor
SALAMANCA — Jerry Lockwood said he is satisfied that the community will be safer for the next two years, since a state parole board has denied parole for Edward Kindt.
Kindt was just 15 when he raped and killed Lockwood’s daughter, Penny Brown on Mother’s Day 1999.
On May 1, 2000, Edward Kindt was given the maximum sentence for the murder of Penny Brown, nine years to life in prison. Because of his juvenile offender status, he was not to be held criminally responsible for his actions. If he had been just two months older, he would have received the maximum adult sentence - 25 years to life. An adult charged with the crimes Kindt committed would have been eligible for the death penalty.
Sibyl Lockwood, Penny’s mother, said the family believes that the letter writing campaign they organized shortly after the first of the year, was responsible for convincing the parole board to keep Kindt behind bars.
The family requested people to write letters to the parole board, but address them to the Lockwoods.
"We read every single one of them," Sybil said of the 437 letters that were received. The letters came from all over western New York and came from doctors, lawyers, office workers, friends and former patients of Penny Brown.
The Lockwoods took these letters with them when they met March 14 with a representative of the parole board, along with Under Sheriff, Tim Whitcomb, who some of the investigation at the time of the crime.
Frustration and anger over what was believed to be an injustice became the basis for a grass-roots campaign to change the juvenile sentencing law for murder in June of 2000. State Senator Catherine Young worked along side the Lockwoods to fight for the passing of "Penny's Law," New York State Assembly Bill #A.1628, named for Penny Brown, was then drafted. "Penny's Law" originally sought to eliminate the sentencing distinction between juveniles and adults for juveniles who are convicted of murder as adults. In other words, while juveniles can be tried as adults for murder, they still must be sentenced using juvenile guidelines in New York State. "Penny's Law" was originally drafted to ensure that those young killers who are tried as adults for committing cold-blooded murder would also be eligible for the adult sentence.
Young continues to keep in close contact with the Lockwood family.
Although "Penny’s Law" might keep future young killers from receiving juvenile sentences, the family of the late Penny Brown must still live with the future possibility of Kindts’ release from prison. He was denied parole this time, but he will be eligible for parole again in another two years.
"It’s set in stone and there isn’t a darn thing anybody can do about it," said Sibyl.
"Our community must be protected from having this felon in our midst. As time passes and Kindt becomes eligible for parole, I hope this Court, and this community will do everything in it's power to prevent his release and keep society safe from this predator," said Jerry.
The Lockwoods both said they wanted to thank those that took the time to write letters on their behalf.
"I think they made an impression on the parole board and now Salamanca will be a safer place," said Jerry.
Kaitlyn Brown, who was 14 years old when her mother was murdered, is now a 22 year-old college student in Chicago. Although she is happy that Kindt was denied parole, she said she finds the situation upsetting.
"I could be fighting this same battle every two years for the rest of my life," she said.
The younger Brown daughter, Bradleigh, is now 19 year old and a student in Rhode Island.
"It’s wonderful to see how strong the girls are. They certainly are stronger than I am," said Sibyl.