JUSTICE FOR DEPUTY SHERIFF JOSEPH RYBKA JR. - DENY PAROLE FOR STEPHEN PERRY

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JUSTICE FOR DEPUTY SHERIFF JOSEPH RYBKA JR. - DENY PAROLE FOR STEPHEN PERRY

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Keep NJ Safe Foundation started this petition

We, the undersigned, urge the NJ State Parole Board to deny parole for Stephen Perry, Prisoner#431064A, who was sentenced to Life in Prison for the murder of Bergen County Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Rybka, Jr.  Perry is a violent repeat offender who has shown no remorse for his crimes. He is a danger to society, and must not be released. 

Our Story:

On January 7, 1979, Deputy Joseph Rybka Jr., a 32-year-old husband, father, and 10-year veteran of the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, was assaulted and gunned down by Stephen Perry, a prisoner he was guarding at Bergen Pines hospital. Just two days previously, Perry was apprehended after committing an armed burglary. Prior to his arrest, Perry fired three shots at two police officers, hitting one in the wrist and chest. While hospitalized for his own injuries sustained during the pursuit, Perry gradually loosened the top of his metal IV pole and used it to assault Deputy Rybka, stealing the officer’s service revolver and fatally shooting him in the heart. Perry fired a total of four shots at Deputy Rybka before fleeing the scene, but was later apprehended, still armed with Deputy Rybka’s gun.

At the time of the murder, 22-year-old Perry had already been arrested 12 times, with an extensive criminal history prior to killing Deputy Rybka, including breaking and entering with intent to steal, assault with intent to kill, larceny, carrying a concealed weapon, assault with a dangerous weapon, and assault & battery on a police officer. 

Even after being sentenced and jailed for Deputy Rybka’s murder, Perry continued racking up more than 50 additional infractions during his incarceration, including drug possession and distribution (heroin), assault, weapons possession, multiple counts of forgery and larceny, breaking & entry, and receiving stolen property.

Although he had a history of parole and probation violations prior to the murder of Deputy Rybka, and was sentenced to Life in Prison for that murder, and has committed and plead guilty to numerous infractions before and after being jailed, Perry is being considered for parole for the fifth time, in June 2022, less than two years after his previous denial.

Deputy Rybka’s family has been forced to relive his tragic murder and endure the painful process of providing a victim impact statement each time Perry is considered for early release. Deputy Rybka’s widow Patricia and their young son were also Perry’s victims, and deserve justice. The suffering repeatedly inflicted on Deputy Rybka’s loved ones is inhumane, and must be taken into account when determining a future parole eligibility date. 

Stephen Perry is an unremorseful repeat offender at high risk for recidivism, presents a significant danger to society, and cannot be permitted to return to the community. 

We, the undersigned, urge the NJ State Parole Board to deny parole for Stephen Perry, Prisoner#431064A, and set a future eligibility date that is the maximum allowable by law.

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