One of the pithiest psychological catch phrases must be this gem: "Past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior." Unfortunately, the New Jersey Parole Board is unfamiliar with that adage, or at least it appeared to be when it allowed 52-year-old Kelvin Terry to travel to West Palm Beach for a reunion with his wife.
The visit seemed to go OK for five days, according to this story on the nj.com website. But on May 27, West Palm Beach police say, he stabbed his wife, Chyrell Terry, with a butcher knife. Afterward, New Jersey Parole officials insisted that they could find no reason to deny Kelvin Terry an unsupervised rendezvous with his wife and that they "did not foresee any problem" in allowing him to make the trip.
Maybe if they had probed into why Terry was in prison in the first place, a little light bulb might have flickered:
Back in 1997, he'd held his wife (and daughter) hostage at gunpoint.
Following the most recent incident, which occurred May 27, Chyrell Terry spent a week in intensive care; she's still recovering. Her husband is in a Palm Beach County jail cell, charged with attempted murder.
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The New Jersey Parole Board insisted "no red flags" warned them that Terry's visit might have disastrous consequences. But it's obvious the officers monitoring him -- making sure his urine tests came back clean, that he wasn't talking crazy talk -- were unaware what had put him in a Newark prison in the first place. At the very least, they didn't know they were rubber-stamping a meeting between a criminal (charged with kidnapping, weapons possession, criminal restraint, and making terroristic threats) and his victim.
So far, no disciplinary action has been carried out against the officers who OK'd Terry's trip to West Palm.