Convicted teen killer up for parole after change in state law

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — The 17-year-old convicted of stabbing a young man to death is now up for parole, following a court ruling that minors cannot be sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole.

Robert "Bobby" Bothelo
Robert “Bobby” Bothelo

Bobby Bothelo was stabbed to death at the Presidential Heights Housing Complex in New Bedford in 1996, after an argument with another man at a party.

His mother Kathleen had some closure when her son’s 17-year-old killer, Anthony Rolon, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life without the chance of parole. Rolon has been behind bars for 17 years, but a change in Massachusetts state law makes him eligible to get out.

Last year, a Massachusetts court ruled that it is unconstitutional for juveniles to be sentenced to life without parole, because their brains are not fully developed.

“I don’t believe anyone that was that angry to want to go back to murder someone for an argument should be let out,” Kathleen told Eyewitness News.

On Tuesday, she attended a parole board hearing in Natick for her son’s killer, but it could take more than 30 days before they make a decision. At the hearing, Kathleen said her son’s killer apologized to her, but she said she will continue to fight to keep Rolon in prison.

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