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Massena teen’s killer denied parole

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A lack of compassion for his victim and a likelihood he would reoffend will keep Jeremy J. Welsh’s killer behind bars for at least two more years after a state parole board denied his release.

In a decision released Monday by the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Todd M. Terrance, 41, Norfolk, was denied release from prison after a hearing with parole board members Wednesday in Albany.

According to the decision, Terrance, who was sentenced in 2000 to 15 to 30 years in prison for the 1995 killing of the 16-year-old Massena boy, “clearly failed to benefit from prior efforts at leniency and rehabilitation.”

“After a review of the record and interview, the panel has determined that if released at this time there is reasonable probability that you would not live and remain at liberty without again violating the law,” the decision states.

The parole board said in its decision that Terrance had remained “emotionally flat during the interview, and demonstrated little concern” for Mr. Welsh’s fate.

Terrance is serving out his sentence in Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Washington County. He was convicted in 2000 in St. Lawrence County Court, Canton, of first-degree manslaughter. He also has subsequent convictions for first-degree possession of prison contraband and first-degree attempted escape.

Mr. Welsh went missing on Jan. 19, 1995, and his remains were not discovered until 1999. Terrance was convicted of killing him by striking him in the head with the butt of a rifle and then burning his body to dispose of him.

Mr. Welsh’s older sister, Shannon M. Giarratano, 37, Massena, and his youngest half-sister, Arianna V. Perry, 21, Potsdam, said the family was relieved to know that Terrance wouldn’t be released.

“Hopefully in two years, he will get denied again,” Ms. Giarratano said. “Obviously he didn’t show any kind of remorse during the parole hearing. I think that is the worst part of the whole thing, that he never apologized.”

Ms. Giarratano said an apology or some kind of acknowledgement from the killer would have given the family some kind of peace, but both she and Ms. Perry said it would have provided no consolation.

“I wouldn’t care if he did have remorse,” Ms. Perry said. “I think that if he’s not remorseful now, he won’t be after two more years.”

The parole board added that the decision was based on the gravity of the charges against him and the fact that he had “lured Mr. Welsh to a location where he hit him with a rifle and then burned and disposed of his body.”

“You were not apprehended for this offense for several years and then, while in jail, you tried to escape,” the decision said. “Your record dates back to 1990, includes four felonies, three misdemeanors, redacted, prior prison and failure at prior supervision.”

The board added that Terrance’s manslaughter conviction is the second time he was responsible for causing a loss of life and it represented a brutal escalation of his prior history. According to archived reports, he had been charged with driving while intoxicated in a 1990 car accident that claimed the life of 16-year-old Tamara Ann DeForge of Massena.

Terrance will be allowed two more hearings, one in January 2016 and a second in 2018. He will be eligible for conditional release on May 26, 2019.

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