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Tupac Shakur's stepdad denied parole

Associated Press Associated Press 22/04/2016

The stepfather of late rapper Tupac Shakur has been denied parole from his federal prison sentence for leading a revolutionary group responsible for the slayings of an armed guard and two New York police officers, a Justice Department spokesman says.

Mutulu Shakur appeared for a parole hearing on April 7 at the federal penitentiary in Victorville, California, after serving 30 years of his 60-year sentence.

The 65-year-old was arrested in 1986 for masterminding a string of deadly armed robberies in New York and Connecticut committed by a militant political group known as "The Family".

For the first time, Shakur had been eligible for what's considered to be mandatory parole, but his release was denied by the US Parole Commission, said Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr.

Shakur was convicted of leading a group responsible for a series of armed robberies in New York and Connecticut, including a $US1.6 million holdup of an armoured truck at a mall in suburban Rockland County, New York, on October 20, 1981.

A Brinks security guard, Peter Paige, was killed during the heist and less than an hour later two New York police officers, Waverly Brown and Sgt Edward O'Grady, were killed in an ambush after stopping a truck at a roadside checkpoint.

Shakur was added to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list and remained on the run until he was arrested in Los Angeles.

Shakur was also charged with helping a fellow revolutionary, Joanne Chesimard, escape from a New Jersey prison, where she was serving a sentence for killing a New Jersey state trooper in 1973.

An accomplice testified at Shakur's trial that armed members of his revolutionary group had visited the prison, captured two guards and then drove Chesimard out in a prison van. He said Shakur was protecting the escape route.

Chesimard, who now goes by the name Assata Shakur, fled to Cuba and remains at large. She was granted asylum by Fidel Castro, but some US officials have pushed for her to be extradited to the US after the countries re-established diplomatic relations.

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