Fort Lauderdale Police Fighting Parole for Murderers Who Didn't Technically Kill Anybody

Categories: Crime
walter-ilyankoff.jpg
Fort Lauderdale PD
Officer Walter Ilyankoff
In July 1974, Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Walter Ilyankoff was executed in the parking lot of a Red Lobster during a botched armed robbery attempt.

The four men who committed the robbery were all convicted of first-degree murder. The three still alive are up for parole in August -- and the Fort Lauderdale Police Department will have none of it.

Spokesman Det. Travis Mandell sent out the most suspenseful narrative news release I've ever seen last week with the headline "COP KILLERS PAROLE HEARING." But the three men up for parole didn't actually kill anyone.

The shooter was 20-year-old Alvin Ford, who planned with the others to rob the Fort Lauderdale seafood restaurant. But things went wrong, and Ford was stranded at the restaurant, left behind by his accomplices. Feeling cornered and seeing Ilyankoff approaching, he shot the officer twice in the torso, took the keys to Ilyankoff's cruiser, and shot him again, in the head.

Ford was sentenced to death but died of respiratory complications in 1991; the three other men -- Henry Robinson, George Decosta, and Alvin Lewis -- received life in prison and are up for parole every five years. Every five years, Fort Lauderdale Police come out against it.

But not only did Robinson, Decosta, and Lewis not kill Ilyankoff but they weren't even there when the murder happened. They got spooked and bailed on the robbery before Ilyankoff showed up. Ford killed him as a getaway ploy when the others ditched him.

Mandell -- and the courts -- say it doesn't matter.

"As a result of their actions, a police officer was killed," Mandell said. "They may not have been the triggermen, but they were just as much a part of it as Alvin Ford was."

He argument was essentially that if you go somewhere with guns in the middle of the day, it's not unreasonable to expect authorities to show up and for something awful to go down. So when "they sat around planning an armed robbery," they accepted that those arms might be used against someone and that they would all be found liable.

"Our stance is that an officer was murdered, and these other individuals either pled to life in exchange for not getting the death penalty or were convicted and sentenced to life," he told the Pulp. "We believe that 'life' means life, and we will stand behind our fallen officer as well as his family."

The release goes moment by moment through the events that led up to Ilyankoff's execution and concludes with "If you want your voice to be heard by the Parole Committee, please email walter2012@fortlauderdale.gov with a short statement expressing feelings on whether the three men should be paroled or not.  We are hoping to receive all sentiments by May 1st, 2012," as if anyone is going to read three horrifying pages about the death of a young father and then decide that hey, these guys might not be so bad. It's included below because there's no way to paraphrase this thing.

Mandell said today that they've received more than 150 emails to the account since the call went out; the department will be presenting them to the parole board.

"When you undertake this job, the things you see and the things you have to do to protect other people and to protect yourself create a bond between yourself and other law enforcement officers," he said. "Five years from now, 20 years from now, a hundred years from now, we will remember Officer Ilyankoff's sacrifice."


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12 comments
Rev. Jason
Rev. Jason

Reminds me of this: http://articles.orlandosentine...

Florida has draconian laws and punishments for people who happen to be nearby or related to a known killer. Lynching people who didn't commit a crime isn't justice it's ignorance.

Sam Smith
Sam Smith

If I sit around and plan a crime, with guns, with other people and I decide before the crime is committed that I don't want to commit this crime, or I get scared, or my Momma tells me not to do so.  If that crime goes forward without my participation I'm on the hook for anything that comes out of it including murder of a cop?  That can't be correct.  There must  be more to this story.  

FQS9000
FQS9000

When you open the door to violence, then you must deal with what walks in.  Let them die in prison.  It will keep other cops alive as the current punks understand that killing a cop means that they will never be a free man again.

FQS9000
FQS9000

 You are liable for all of the results of a crime if you actually participate in the crime.  Just being in on the planning doesn't count.  These punks drove the killer to the crime scene and so were participants and so they do the time.

I have utterly no pity for these punks and I find people who whine for them obscene.  These clowns were not children when they chose to open the door to violence.  They get no second chances, just as the cop they helped to murder did not.

Frankly, they already received mercy, as they were not executed for participating in a murder.  They were able to live their lives and take what enjoyment they could.  That is more than they deserve for what they did.

I have no problem feeding these punks, as their example serves as a powerful deterrent 38 years later to other punks who may get the same evil idea.  And that is worth the money, as it saves innocent lives and will ABSOLUTELY keep some other punks from being so stupid.  If it saves the life of even one baby, it is a fantastic investment.

Let them rot.

Pete Pepper
Pete Pepper

 There is a problem though.  They did not even rob the place, let alone kill anyone.  Maybe it was out of fear or a flash of common sense, but they ran before anything happened.  The guy who actually DID the crime died in prison.I thought long and hard about this overnight, and it still keeps bothering me.  For all intent and purpose, these guys are innocent of these charges because they did not do anything.  From the sound of things, the guy who actually did the killing was the ringleader who lost control of his cohorts who, rather than commit a crime, ran.Hate to say it, but the police are wrong with this one.

Prof. G
Prof. G

Did you ever wonder why this society keeps churning out anti-social degenerates, generation upon generation? Wouldn't it be better to find out WHY kids turn into criminals, instead of spending more millions every year to warehouse them away from society? Or do you believe that they are born evil? If so, why isn't a similar proportion of British kids or Japanese kids or Swedish kids or even kids in Cuba becoming criminals when they grow up? I, for one, would much prefer to stop the merry-go-round of unending criminality and change the culture. Punishment and vengeance do not work, have not worked, will not work. We need a new paradigm.

Judge Roy Bean
Judge Roy Bean

Read the felony murder statue!   Life should be life!

FQS9000
FQS9000

They went there with guns in their hands and armed robbery as the goal.  This is a mistake you only get to make once.  They rolled the dice and threw their lives away, but their plan resulted in the murder of a cop and incurred the permanent enmity of the FLPD.

Their example will serve the current punks well and so it is appropriate for them to do every day of their time.  Other innocent people will not only live, but more prudent punks will not spend the rest of their lives in prison.

Armed robbery is not a crime of passion, stupidity or desperation.  It only has one goal, profit without much effort.  When you know that killing a cop has a price of life WITHOUT PAROLE, it removes a massive amount of the enticement of the fast money.

They are where they belong.  Let them rot there.

Pete Pepper
Pete Pepper

 Yes FQ, I agree with you.  Which is why the entire republican party should all be in prison with all the CEOs.

FQS9000
FQS9000

Kids turn into criminals for a very simple reason.  They are bastards and their mommies gave them everything they wanted.  The prisons are full of them.  Bastard is a technical term describing a behavior set, not an insult.

Sluts and bitches breed bastards, and bastards lie, rob, and resort to violence to get what they want.

Pete Pepper
Pete Pepper

 And the guy who actually committed the robbery and murder died in prison.  These are the guys who ran off before the robbery even occurred.  THATS the problem.  They are spending their lives in prison for a crime they thought about committing but never did.

Prof. G
Prof. G

And who is paying for their food, clothing, shelter, medical care, exercise equipment, TV sets, etc.? We've been doing that for almost 40 years now. Isn't that enough? You people with a lynch mob mentality need to understand all that your anger and hatred cost us. Every inmate on Death Row, on average, costs the state $14 million. We now have more than 350 inmates on Death Row. Do the math. 

Alvin Bernard Ford was a former prison guard who became mentally unbalanced. I covered his trial in Judge Cail Lee's court. These other guys were just young turkeys full of piss and vinegar, who, thanks to the National Rifle Association, had complete access to handguns, as did crazy Alvin Ford -- who got even more insane after his murder conviction and died in prison. Paroling these three guys won't bring the officer back. Let it rest, people.

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