NILES - The second of two convicted murderers who killed an undercover Niles police officer 30 years ago will spend an additional 10 years in prison, according to the Trumbull County Prosecutor's Office.
Randy Fellows, who had a parole hearing at Trumbull Correctional Institution earlier this month, was convicted as a 19-year-old in the murder of officer John Utlak. His parole being denied follows a similar move for Fred Joseph Jr., who also must serve at least another 10 years.
The decision was announced to Miriam Fife, victim-witness advocate in the prosecutor's office.
Prosecutors said that Joseph was the juvenile triggerman and Fellows planned the murder.
Fellows, like Joseph, must still await a final decision from the Parole Board's quality assurance process.
Joseph wasn't eligible for the death penalty at the time since he was not an adult. And jurors in Fellows' case said they couldn't opt for the death penalty. Even though he was more than 18 years old at the time, Fellows didn't pull the trigger although he supplied Joseph with the gun and was instrumental in planning to kill the then-26-year-old Utlak on Dec. 8, 1982.
Utlak's .357-caliber handgun, 12-gauge shotgun, portable radio and $200 were missing from the murder scene.
The Trumbull County coroner ruled Utlak had been shot with a .22-caliber weapon, later determined to belong to Fellows.
Utlak and his partner had been using the teens as drug informants, and they had met twice before in the parking lot on Hunter Street where Utlak was shot.
Fellows and Joseph, who was 17 at the time of the murder, are serving life sentences with the possibility of parole in 30 years on aggravated murder charges. The two were arrested in Cheyenne, Wyo., only days after the murder after Joseph was stopped for erratic driving.
Fellows was found in a hotel bedroom with a 12-gauge pump shotgun beside him.
The two young fugitives had admitted killing a police officer to a hitchhiker they picked up along the way to Wyoming.