Family members of a gay sailor murdered in Japan in 1992 are calling on members of the LGBTQ+ community and their supporters to urge against the parole of the man convicted of his murder and sentenced to life in prison. That final decision is expected within days.
Former Navy Airman Apprentice Terry M. Helvey received a recommendation for parole on Feb. 17 and would be released in October should the parole go through. He was convicted of killing U.S. Navy sailor Allen Schindler in a men's bathroom in Sasebo, Japan.
Schindler, a native of the Chicago area, was reportedly a target of repeated harassment by Helvey, who pled guilty to the murder. An accomplice, Charles Vins, pled guilty to lesser charges and was released after only 78 days.
Helvey is currently serving his sentence at a facility in Greenville, Illinois, and members of Schindler's family would like for him to stay there.
"They did not take into consideration what [Helvey] did to my son," said Schindler's mother, Dorothy Clausen. "He's done nothing but lie the whole time."
Clausen said that psychiatric reports compiled on Helvey at the time showed deeply engrained violent tendencies. "They said he doesn't know how to do anything but fight," she added.
Helvey reportedly now says that he doesn't remember the incident, and only confessed to the crime because he was forced to.
"If [after being released] he did anything to anybody, it would just kill me," Clausen said. "It would mean I hadn't done enough to keep Allen's killer in jail."
Since the final decision is imminent, Clausen and other family members are urging the public to send email as soon as possible to officials at the U.S. Parole Commission to urge against Helvey's parole. Those emails can be sent to USPC.VictimAdv@usdoj.gov .