‘Potato Hill Killer’ denied parole

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The murderer known as the ‘Potato Hill Killer’ has once again been denied parole on his life sentence in state prison.

Bernard Hatch, now 79, was interviewed by a state Parole Board last month, who looked over his 1973 conviction for the murder and dismemberment of 56-year-old Mary Turner in Steuben. 

Authorities said Turner was strangled to death on Potato Hill Road in Steuben, then Hatch cut off her hands and feet, burying them near her body. Hatch denied killing Turner, and was convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. He has been in lockup since the 70s, and is currently being housed at the Mohawk Correctional Facility in Rome, according to state records.

In their decision, the two-person parole board noted that Hatch has kept a clean record in prison since 2005, and that he’s been  making efforts at self-improvement.

“While this panel notes your personal growth and productive use of time, discretionary release shall not be granted merely as a reward for good conduct or efficient performance of duties while confined,” the board stated.

“Your release would trivialize the tragic loss of life that you caused. Furthermore, it would be incompatible with the welfare of society and would so deprecate the serious nature of your crime as to undermine respect for the law.”

Hatch will next be up for parole in June 2020.

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