Notorious Boston bomber Alfred Trenkler had his life sentence reduced and could be moving closer to home at the Devens lockup after a judge ruled his punishment was too harsh in the death of a city bomb squad officer.
“The Court reduces Trenkler’s sentence to a term of 41 years,” federal Judge William Smith stated in his 53-page decision Friday, adding five years of “supervised release” would follow.
Trenkler, now 65, was sentenced to life in prison in 1994 for leaving one Boston Bomb Squad commander “blown apart” and his partner maimed for life, as former U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling wrote last year in his motion opposing any leniency.
Trenkler, the Herald was told, could be eligible for an even earlier release based on how he’s behaved while behind bars in his Tucson, Ariz., prison where he was seeking a “compassionate release” due to the coronavirus.
Trenkler was convicted along with Thomas Shay Jr., in the 1991 bombing in Roslindale. The intended target, Shay’s father, escaped injury. A possible motive, prosecutors have said, was the prospect of inheriting $400,000 in insurance from the dad.
Boston Officer Jeremiah Hurley, a married father of four, was killed that late October day, and his partner, Officer Francis Foley, was seriously injured and would never work again. They were both victims of a remote-controlled bomb “containing two or three sticks of dynamite,” Lelling wrote.
In April, two of officer Hurley’s children urged the court to keep Trenkler locked up for life.
“Don’t forget about my father and the sacrifice he made for this city,” Leanne (Hurley) Teehan told the Herald. “He’s exactly where he belongs,” added David Powell.
Boston Police said Friday the department is “saddened by the recent ruling” and their “thoughts remain, as they always have, with the families of these officers and with the countless members of the Boston Police Department who put their lives on the line every day.”
Trenkler’s lead attorney is Nancy Gertner — a onetime federal judge who sat in the same Seaport court where his appeal was adjudicated.
Trenkler’s request to be relocated to the Devens federal medical facility in Ayer has also won the backing of the court.
The judge wrote that the feds “speculated that Trenkler participated” in the bombing scheme “in hopes of either seducing Shay, Jr. as a lover or recovering some of the insurance proceeds for himself.” And, according to a footnote, “Trenkler argues that homophobia permeated” his 18-day trial.
Shay Jr. was ultimately sentenced to 12 years in jail, and…