RFK Assassin Denied Parole After Dramatic Hearing

Man shot by Sirhan says somebody else killed Kennedy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2016 2:55 AM CST
RFK Assassin Denied Parole After Dramatic Hearing
Paul Schrade, who was shot in the head by Sirhan Sirhan, reacts during a parole hearing for Sirhan on Wednesday at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, Pool)

Sirhan Sirhan didn't kill Robert F. Kennedy, according to a man who was shot in the head the same night Kennedy was assassinated. Paul Schrade, a 91-year-old Kennedy family friend and former labor leader, told Sirhan's parole hearing on Wednesday that he believes Sirhan was the one who shot him at a Los Angeles hotel in 1968, but a second shooter killed RFK, the AP reports. Schrade apologized for missing Sirhan's previous 14 parole hearings. "I should have been here long ago and that's why I feel guilty for not being here to help you and to help me," he said. Later, when the prisoner was taken away, Schrade shouted: "Sirhan, I'm so sorry this is happening to you. It's my fault."

After three hours of testimony—including an hour from Schrade, who described his attempts to investigate the case—commissioners ruled against Sirhan, deciding that the 71-year-old did not show enough remorse or understand how serious the crime was, NBC News reports. The Palestinian-born Christian is serving life for the murder of Kennedy, who was killed just after winning the California Democratic primary. "This crime impacted the nation, and I daresay it impacted the world," commissioner Brian Roberts said. "It was a political assassination of a viable Democratic presidential candidate." Sirhan's next parole hearing will be in 2021. (At a hearing in 2011, Sirhan's lawyers claimed he was hypnotized as diversion for the real assassin.)

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