“I had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with this crime and I am so sorry for what happened to the family of [Officer Rooney]. But I played no role in taking his life or participating in taking his life,” inmate Perry Bellamy claimed during the Aug. 18 Parole Board hearing at Great Meadow Correctional prison that preceded his Sept. 30 release.
“I’m not the man that was involved. I’m not the man that did the crime,” added Bellamy, 59, who vowed to be a “better man” upon his release.
The murder accomplice’s freedom has outraged parole officers who worked with Rooney as well as the union that represents them.
Bellamy’s release is just the latest example of the Gov. Andrew Cuomo-appointed Parole Board letting loose convicted killers.
Others sprung include cop killer Herman Bell; wacko Bruce Haims, who bludgeoned a young woman to death with a club; and Sam Ayala — who raped and murdered two young moms with their horrified young children within earshot during a Westchester County home invasion.
Bellamy — deemed an associate of infamous drug lord Lorenzo “Fat Cat” Nichols — was convicted of luring Rooney to meet him near Baisley Pond Park in South Jamaica by claiming to have information about one of his cases in exchange for $5,000 in blood money.
There, a hit squad acting on Nichols’ orders pulled up alongside Rooney’s car and opened fire, killing him with five shots.
Bellamy was sentenced to 15 years to life after being convicted of second-degree murder and gun possession.
But rather than show contrition, Bellamy spent much of his parole hearing claiming he spent 34 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit.
During the hearing conducted by Parole Board commissioners Otis Cruse and Michael Corley, Bellamy denied he was a member of Lorenzo’s drug crew — explaining they would have never let him live.
“There is no way in the world that people can label you as a snitch but yet use you to be part of this and then let you live. So it didn’t happen,” Bellamy, 59, said during his hearing.
Former Parole Board Chairman Bob Dennison, who met Bellamy in prison about his case a few years ago, believes the inmate’s claim that he wasn’t an accomplice in Officer Rooney’s murder.
He said Bellamy took the fall for being the set-up man because he felt he would be safer in prison than out on the streets and didn’t expect to do much time.
The US Attorney’s office wrote a letter indicating Bellamy wasn’t involved in the murder based on interviews with drug dealers it prosecuted, he added.
“He brought 30-something years on himself. He lied,” Dennison said.
“Bellamy wanted to get off the streets. They killed his father.” Dennison said of Lorenzo’s drug crew assassinating Bellamy’s father in his barber shop.
“Bellamy thought they would kill him because they thought he was a rat,” he said.
Cruse and Corley, who decided Bellamy’s case, dismissed his innocence claims — but cut him loose anyway.
“Your release should in no way disregard the decision of the court, or be interpreted as mitigating nor excusing the serious nature of your actions which contributed to the senseless loss of life. … Additionally, it does not minimize the awful pain and suffering caused upon the victim’s family and society,” the decision said.
During the hearing, Cruse chastised Bellamy for not earning a General Education Diploma during his decades in prison.
Bellamy moved to North Carolina following his release, which means a New York parole officer won’t have to supervise someone convicted of killing one of their own.