THE BRONX — A drug dealer convicted of gunning down a prosecutor at a bodega decades ago will be paroled in the coming weeks despite objections from the victim’s family and the Bronx District Attorney’s office.
Sean Healy was getting a doughnut at a bodega just blocks from the Bronx Criminal Courthouse where he worked on Aug. 30, 1990, when Jose Diaz, then a 19-year-old drug dealer, fired eight times at the store, hitting Healy in the head. Diaz was gunning for a rival drug dealer, who was not in the store.
“He brought fear into his own community and into the lives of those who worked with Sean and those who resided around the courthouse,” Jean Walsh, the assistant district attorney who prosecuted Diaz, said in a letter to New York’s parole board.
Diaz is set to be released from Otisville Correctional Facility by July 5 or earlier, prison records show. He was set to be paroled in 2009, but his release was successfully contested by the Bronx District Attorney’s Office at the time.
Diaz, who turned himself in, was sentenced to 15 years and has been eligible for parole since 2005. His release has been repeatedly blocked in the years since.
“The Board of Parole is the sole entity that considers and determines parole eligibility,” DOCCS spokesman Thomas Mailey said. “The Board adheres to statutory requirements that take into consideration a number of factors prior to making any final determination. The Board must consider statements made by victims and victim’s families, as well as an individual’s criminal history, institutional accomplishments, potential to successfully reintegrate into the community and perceived danger to public safety.”
Healy has been remembered as a hard worker and good man.
“His work was quality work,” then-Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson said following Healy’s death. “He was hired because he was a talented lawyer.”
Walsh called him “an exceptional human being and public servant.”
“The loss of this young life and the way in which his life was taken remains a nightmare to this day,” Walsh wrote in her letter to the parole board.