A man who beat, raped and murdered two moms as their young children listened to their screams in a Westchester County home invasion is about to be freed by the state parole board.
Samuel Ayala — part of a trio of fiends convicted in the horrific attack on Bonnie Minter and her friend Sheila Watson during a play date in Watson’s South Salem home in 1977 — is set to be released as early as Sept. 3, according to the board and Minter’s now-adult son Jason on Facebook on Monday.
“Six years ago, when the board asked Ayala if he hadn’t run out of bullets, would he have killed the four young children present so that there were indeed no witnesses, he did not answer,’’ said Jason Minter — who was just 6 years old as he, his little sister and Watson’s young son and daughter heard their mothers’ cries for help from another room.
“His silence said it all.’’
Minter and his sister Maggie had previously successfully fought every two years to keep the “mastermind’’ Ayala, now nearly 70, behind bars since he became eligible for parole in 2002.
But this year, the coronavirus surfaced — and the siblings believe it hurt their cause when Ayala came up for parole again.
“It was mid-March 2020. COVID 19 panic was sweeping the country. There was talk of releasing those at high risk from prison early. Meetings became remote-access only,’’ Jason wrote.
“We were also unable to meet with a board member due to their rules regarding COVID on this last parole hearing cycle. We were willing to meet anyone we needed to speak with, even through zoom.
“It occurred to us that our statements might have less power without being able to meet face to face. Yet, we continued to hope for the best,’’ he added in the online missive — which included a Post newspaper clipping from 1978 reporting Samuel’s conviction, as well as that of one of his cohorts, Willie Profit, on all 56 counts in the case.
After learning that the board voted in July to allow Ayala back on the streets, “We can only speculate that COVID and the lack of in-person accessibility might have impacted our ability to resonate with the board as it had in previous years,’’ Jason said.
A rep for the board confirmed to The Post on Monday that members voted July 20 to release Ayala as early as Sept. 3. The board refused to release a transcript of the hearing, saying The Post would to have to file a request through the Freedom of Information Act to get it.
Minter recounted particularly heinous details about the crime in his posting — adding that he’s baffled as to how anyone could even consider letting such a monster go free.
“We know the board was aware that Ayala joked and laughed at his prowess during the rapes,’’ the son said.
“They also knew that we very vividly remember his cackling laughter as he raced down the stairs and through the house that day after personally firing the multiple bullets that killed both my mom and her friend as they crawled away.
“Children saw this. Children heard this. Children do not forget these kinds of details,’’ Jason said.
The son recalled to The Post in 2014 how Profit threatened him with a gun when the then-boy tried to intervene.
“I tried to save my mother — I was 6 years old,’’ Jason said.
“The last words I heard my mother say were her begging for the life of her children.’’
Source: New York Post
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