Montelaro's Murderer Denied Parole
New Jersey State Parole Board denies Christopher Righettie parole.
Christopher Righetti, the man who raped and murdered 20-year-old Kim Montelaro of New Milford in 1976, was denied parole today. This was the fifth time since 1976 that Righetti has been up for parole.
Righetti kidnapped Montelaro from the Paramus Park Mall on Aug. 31, 1976, and brutally raped and stabbed her to death in a secluded area of the Pine Lake Swim Club in Washington Township.
Speaking on behalf of Assemblyman Robert Schroeder, who was in a voting session, Chief of Staff, Lisa Yakomin, said that Righetti appeared before a two member parole board panel at Northern State Prison this afternoon where they denied his request for parole.
According to Yakomin, today's decision goes to a three member parole board panel that will set a future eligibility date for Righetti.
"Righetti has 30 days to send a letter of appeal to the parole board," Yakomin said.
"It will take approximately two to three weeks after that for the parole board to render a decision regarding his future eligibility date," she added.
Taking that process into consideration, Yakomin said, "We're looking at a decision being handed down in August which marks the anniversary of Kim's murder."
Schroeder is currently working on a letter to submit to the three member parole panel urging them to set a future parole eligibility date for 35 years so that the Montelaro family does not have to go through this process again and relive the painful events of 36 years ago.
In speaking with Kim's mother, Alice Montelaro, about today's decision, Yakomin said that she is relieved by the parole board's decision denying Righetti parole.
"When she heard about the decision, Alice said, 'Today it's good news,'" Yakomin said, acknowledging that the waiting begins again for the panel to make its determination regarding Righetti's next parole eligibility date.
In a March phone interview with Patch, Kim's father, Tony Montelaro, said, "He should have been executed when this happened, when he murdered our daughter."
"He'll do it again. ... He's already taken our daughter's life and now we've got to relive that every time that son of a bitch comes up for parole," he added.
(As of the time of printing, Tony Montelaro has not returned a phone call placed by Patch.)
Righetti, a Northern State Prison inmate whom officials said has the word "animal" tattooed on his body, is a champion prison powerlifter who can squat 1000 pounds. He was denied parole in 2009 and declared ineligible until 2022.
However, in January 2010, the state Legislature passed two bills during its lame-duck session under Gov. Jon Corzine, mandating that inmates who have been denied parole receive a new parole hearing every three years. The bills, A4201 and A4202, called for a panel to review prisoners who had served 20 years or more on their sentences.
Gov. Chris Christie repealed these laws; however, according to Tony Montelaro, Righetti "fell between the cracks."
Righetti, who was a 16-year-old, 200 pound teenager from River Vale when he killed Kim Montelaro, had served 13 months in a state juvenile correctional facility for rape, and shortly upon his release had attempted to rape another woman.
Tony Montelaro said that it was revealed during Righetti's trial that he learned from other prisoners in juvenile detention that when you rape someone "you kill them so you won't get caught."
Montelaro said that the coroner's report indicated that Kim had suffered a "slow, agonizing death" over a period of 15 to 20 minutes.
Yakomin said that Schroeder will be urging the parole board panel to heed the voice of 3000 people who signed his petition to deny Righetti's parole and set the next parole hearing date for "at least 35 years from now, maximizing the chance that he will remain in prison for the rest of his life and will never again pose a threat to society."
Upon hearing today's decision of the parole board, New Milford Chief of Police Frank Papapietro told Patch, "I'm relieved that this is over for the Montelaro's."
"I hope that they never have to go through this again," he added.
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