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NYSNYS NEWS: Appellate Division upholds decision to deny DOCCS parole to ax murderer Eugene Mullins, who killed Troy woman in 1982.
NYSNYS NEWS: Appellate Division upholds decision to deny parole to ax murderer Eugene Mullins, who killed Troy woman in 1982.

By Kyle Hughes

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 11) — A man serving 25 years to life for the April 1982 ax murder of a young woman he met at a Rensselaer County bar will remain in prison, the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

Eugene Mullins, 57, appealed the decision of the state Parole Board in 2013 to deny his request for release from prison. He is being held in the DOCCS Hudson prison, a medium-security facility, and has been eligible for release since 2007. He has another hearing date this month, according to agency records.

The appellate panel said the Parole Board looked at Mullins’ “positive programming and disciplinary record, plans upon release, his COMPAS (Correctional Offender Management Profile for Alternative Sanctions) Risk and Needs Assessment instrument, the nature of the instant offense and his otherwise clean criminal record.” The court noted “particular emphasis was placed on the nature of the offense” during the hearing on whether Mullins should go free.

Mullins is in prison for the ax murder of Barbara Goetke, a 21 year old from Schodack who resided in Troy. He met her at a bar, then took her to other Rensselaer County taverns before ending up on Mannix Road in East Greenbush, police said. Her partially nude, disfigured body was found in a field there three days later, with her belongings scattered along nearby roads.

State Police said Mullins, who was married and had a Schenectady address, confessed to killing the woman with an ax. At the trial, the prosecutor called Mullins “a man on the prowl” who picked Goetke as his prey.

Mullins was tried three times for the murder. The first guilty verdict in 1984 was overturned on appeal because of an invalid search warrant. The second guilty verdict in 1989 was also overturned because an ax was admitted into evidence that had been discovered through use of a flawed search warrant.

He was convicted a third time in 1993 and has been in prison since then.