Ronald Schneider, 70-year-old cop killer, denied parole

Cop killer Ronald Schneider won't be getting out of prison anytime soon.

Schneider, a 70-year-old convicted of murdering a Robbinsdale police officer in 1985, is one of just a few men currently in the Minnesota prison system unaffected by the 1993 law mandating life without parole for killing a cop. But following a letter-writing campaign from law enforcement, Schneider was denied parole Monday, and will serve another five years before he is eligible for release again.

"The offender was not able to demonstrate that he'd made significant progress that would show that he is not a danger to the community," says Department of Corrections spokesman John Schadl, though he couldn't get into specifics.

"We don't get into the play-by-play on these things. It's an internal review that happens within our system. A lot of the information in these hearings is private, and has to do with the offenders' medical and psychological profiles."

On a February morning 27 years ago, officer John Thomas Scanlon had just cleared the scene of a burglary, and was filling out paperwork in his squad car. Without exchanging a single word, Schneider walked up to the driver's side of Scanlon's squad car and open fired.

Scanlon was a 35-year-old father who had been on the force for 11 years.

Schneider's hearing came just a few months after the controversial parole of another convicted cop killer. In November, the Department of Corrections granted parole to Timothy Eling, who was also sentenced prior to the '93 law that now guarantees a life sentence for the crime. Eling will still spend the next few years in prison for a drug smuggling offense.

Schadl says that community opinion can factor into whether or not a convict is granted parole.

"The commissioner always review the letters and the input from the community," says Schadl. "He also makes it a point to meet with victims and victims' families prior to the hearing."

Previous Coverage:

  • Timothy Eling, cop killer, granted parole

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