SALAMANCA — Penny Brown, a beloved registered nurse and midwife in Salamanca, was murdered along the Pennsy Trail nearly 24 years ago.

Her killer, Edward Kindt, who was 15 at the time of his attack on Mother’s Day 1999, has been granted parole by the New York State Parole Board and was due to be released Wednesday.

The community’s response — from family and friends to area lawmakers and other officials — has been one of outrage.

Brown was raped and strangled while on a jog with the family dogs along the abandoned railroad bed not far from her home in Salamanca. Kindt pleaded guilty to the murder and was sentenced as an adult by then-judge Larry Himelein in Cattaraugus County Court to nine years to life in state prison, the most allowed by law at the time.

Bradleigh Brown, Penny’s younger daughter, shared on Facebook that they received word of Kindt’s release and wanted to make people aware as a safety concern for the local community.

“We are devastated and outraged, but want to relay this information to the public to bring whatever awareness we can to county residents,” she wrote. “Thank you to everyone who wrote in opposition to his release for many years. We are heartbroken.”

Family friends have recently created a GoFundMe page a Go Fund Me to help the family pay for counseling and other services, and can be found by searching “Support the daughters of Penny Brown.” Kaitlyn Brown, Penny’s older daughter, was 13 at the time. Bradleigh was 10.

Penny Brown’s parents, Jerry and Sibyl Lockwood, rallied the Salamanca community every two years to oppose Kindt’s release by the parole board until their respective deaths.

In 2003, former state Sen. Catharine Young of Olean, who became close to the Lockwoods, sponsored and helped pass Penny’s Law, which set higher minimum sentences for juvenile killers in New York to 15 years to life.

In previous years, the Lockwoods would credit the hundreds of letters the parole board received opposed to Kindt’s release from prison. Sibyl Lockwood appealed in newspaper articles and on television to Penny’s many friends to write letters opposing parole for Kindt.

In an interview in 2012, Lockwood said she thinks the parole board may have received 500 or more letters opposing Kindt’s release at the time.

Also, she said “he’s been a rather bad boy, since he’s been moved from the medium-security prison in Albion in Orleans County to the maximum-security prison at Elmira.”

Before her death in 2014, Lockwood also received help from social media as people on Facebook and Twitter reposted the email address of the Parole Board and asked for letters on her behalf.

The process for altering Kindt’s parole status involves filing a Notice of Rescission, but the Department of Corrections told WGRZ Buffalo on Monday “there is no basis for a rescission at this time.”

Neither the Governor nor state legislature has the authority to overrule the parole board.

The only way Kindt’s parole could be revoked is if new information about his mental health or actions while in custody was presented before his release on Wednesday, which could trigger that second look.

Kindt is 39 years old, the same age as Brown when she was murdered.

Kindt was in custody at the New York State Correctional Facility at Elmira. It’s unclear where he would go when released as scheduled on Wednesday, or what restrictions he would face on parole.


Other area lawmakers and officials have also voiced their opposition to the parole board decision.

Salamanca Mayor Sandra Magiera said Brown’s murder is not an easy subject, especially in the Salamanca community.

“When I first heard the news, my thoughts went to Sybil and Jerry and their family who fought so hard for years that this day would never happen,” the mayor said.

Magiera said she’s received several calls and messages to not allow Kindt to be allowed in the city, but no one has been told where he will go. She said she doesn’t think the local community has any say on where Kindt is released, but it bothers her and others that he does not have to register as sex offender.

“We thought he would never be released, but I guess the parole board must feel he has changed and is OK to be released back into society,” she said. “Let’s all pray that they are right.”

Cattaraugus County Legislator Laurie Hunt, R-Salamanca, sponsored a resolution March 22 to condemn the parole board over its release of Kindt.

“He brutally murdered Penny Brown in 1999,” Hunt told fellow legislators, urging passage of the resolution.

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Salamanca Democrat David Koch said he also opposed Kindt’s parole. “He ended Penny Brown’s life.”

Legislator Norman Marsh, R-Little Valley, said Kindt “remains a predator” and noted the judge who sentenced him said “he should never be paroled.” He said the parole board has denied Kindt’s parole eight times.

All 17 legislators joined as cosponsors of the resolution opposing Kindt’s release.

District Attorney Lori Rieman said she is disappointed and concerned, saying she never expected someone who did what he did to ever get released. She said Kindt is dangerous and always will be.

“I feel particularly bad for Penny Brown’s family-they deserve peace and to feel safe,” Rieman said. “I am also concerned for our community-he is a predator of the worse sort. It highlights many of the significant deficits in our criminal justice system.”


Seneca Nation President Rickey Armstrong Sr. said Kindt’s murder of Brown inflicted terror upon their entire community, asserting Kindt should not be allowed to re-enter the same community he traumatized.

“No amount of time can heal the wounds he created, and our community should not be forced back into the shadows of fear knowing that the state parole board is allowing him to walk among us,” he said.

Because Kindt was a resident of the Allegany Territory, Armstrong said the Nation should have been consulted before any parole decision was made. He said they would have strenuously objected to his release, as he has now done in a letter to the parole board.

“Granting parole to someone who showed such blatant disregard for human life is not only an insult to justice, but to Ms. Brown and to her family, friends, neighbors and community,” Armstrong said.

Although the state enacted Penny’s Law in order to strengthen the state’s sentencing guidelines, Armstrong said Kindt — whose case sparked that law — should not benefit from any loopholes that the law intended to close.

“Ms. Brown was robbed of her life at age 39. Allowing her killer to see freedom at that same age adds a cruel layer of irony to the parole board’s misguided decision,” Armstrong said. “The Seneca Nation and our community lends our voice in support of the Brown family and all those who seek to ensure that Ms. Brown’s murderer sees no reprieve for his actions so that our community can rest easy that he remains behind bars.”


Assemblyman Joseph Giglio, R-Gowanda, asserted that the state parole board is packed with soft-on-crime members appointed by the former governor, Andrew Cuomo, and has become far too lenient. He said violent felons have been released over the last few years, including killers of police officers, rapists and others “who prey on innocent victims like Penny Brown as a result.”

In response, Giglio introduced Assembly Bill 2423, which would require the state parole board to include at least one member who is or was a member of law enforcement and at least one member who is a crime victim or crime victims representative.

“This legislation would give crime victims a voice and allow police officers to provide professional guidance on the possible release of those who commit crimes,” he added.

State Sen. George Borrello, R-Sunset Bay, penned a letter to the state parole board urging members to reconsider and deny Kindt’s release.

“Edward Kindt’s vicious rape and murder of Penny Brown ... traumatized the community and left her family utterly heartbroken and grief-stricken,” Borrello’s letter stated.

The attack, combined with Kindt’s troubled past and lack of remorse for the killing, prompted the sentencing judge to declare he hoped Kindt would never be released from prison.

“The parole board’s decision is reckless and an insult to Ms. Brown’s family and crime victims everywhere,” he said.

Borrello stressed the harm of the parole board’s latest decision and urged it and state leaders to show more concern for victims and public safety.

Borrello said he’d written to the New York State Parole Board and requested that they reverse this decision “in the name of justice and the safety of the community.” He said Brown’s family has “suffered more than imaginable” and deserves better than living with the knowledge that Kindt will be a free man.

“He should never walk free again,” the senator added. “New York state needs to start putting the rights of crime victims and their families over those of criminals, particularly brutal killers like Edward Kindt.”

State Republican Party Chair Ed Cox also expressed opposition to the parole board’s decision.

“Edward Kindt should die in prison. Justice demands it,” Cox said in a statement. “Democrats have flipped the rule of law on its head: once again, the freedom of violent, remorseless criminals outweighs the safety of our communities and justice for the families of victims.”

(Editor’s note: The headline for this story has been edited to reflect that Kindt was expected to be released Wednesday. It was announced late Tuesday after the press deadline that Kindt’s release was temporarily postponed.)

(Contact managing editor Kellen Quigley at

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