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Assassin of Civil Rights Activist Denied Parole

December 11, 1990

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ The man serving a life term in a state prison for assassinating civil rights activist Malcolm X in 1965 has been denied parole.

The decision by the state Board of Parole means 49-year-old Thomas Hagan, also known as Talmadge X. Hayer, must serve another two years before becoming eligible for another hearing, said Edward Elwin, executive director of the Parole Board.

Hagan, who is imprisoned at Edgecomb Correctional Facility in Manhattan, has been a model prisoner and is one of only 30 inmates who have qualified for an extended furlough program, said Kelly Priess, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections.

However, the three-member parole panel, after a hearing in November, cited ″the seriousness of the crime″ in rejecting Hagan’s request for early release, Elwin said Monday.

Priess said Hagan has participated in the prison furlough program since May 1989 and he is allowed to return home and work in the community about four days a week.

There was no indication in his prison records that Hagan has had any disciplinary problems and he has shown ″acceptable behavior,″ Priess said.

Malcolm X became a leading figure in the civil rights movement in the 1960s. He also stirred controversy for his refusal to reject violence in gaining freedom for ″people of African descent here in the Western Hemisphere.″

He was gunned down in February 1965 while speaking to supporters at a rally in New York City. Hagan, who was shot in the leg by one of Malcolm’s bodyguards, has said the assassination was to avenge blasphemies that he contended Malcolm X had made against Muslim leader Elijah Muhammad.

Hagan has said he did not know who ordered the killing.

Two other men convicted of helping in the assassination, Muhammed Abdul Aziz and Kahlil Islam, have been released on parole in recent years.

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