Casper parole hearing set for this week

Jessica Pierce

Walter Casper III will know by the end of this week if he’ll be paroled from prison.

His hearing before the state Board of Parole was to be held sometime this week, though officials at the state Division of Parole in Albany could not say exactly when, since the board had multiple hearings.

Gregory Bly, a brother of Casper’s late wife and victim, Cathy Bly-Casper, said his family was told to expect to hear the outcome of the hearing — if Casper will be freed — after 2 p.m. Friday. Mrs. Bly-Casper’s relatives met with a Board of Parole in Rochester last month to talk about the pain they’ve endured since her death in 1999.

Casper’s case was to be heard by the Board of Parole in March, but the state postponed the meeting to have more time to gather information about his case. If Casper is denied parole, he’ll have another hearing soon to compensate for the face that, under a recently reduced conviction, he would have been eligible for parole three years ago. Typically, prisoners are granted parole hearings about every two years.

Casper’s 2000 murder conviction for sending his wife over a cliff in Naples and to her death was reduced to manslaughter by an appeals court last summer. Because of the ruling, his original 25-years-to-life sentence was replaced in January with a sentence of five to 15 years.

Mrs. Bly-Casper’s family — including the Caspers’ two sons, Walter IV and Ben, and Bly-Casper’s parents and siblings — want him locked up for as long as possible. With the help of state Sen. Joe Robach, R-Greece, they have collected thousands of signatures on petitions urging the Board of Parole to keep Casper locked up as long as possible.

It’s not likely that Casper will spend more than 2 1/2 additional years behind bars because under state law, prisoners are generally paroled after serving two-thirds of their sentence as long as they’ve behaved while locked up, which Casper apparently has.

Jessica Pierce can be reached at (585) 394-0770, Ext. 250, or at