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Friends remember slain cop as killer seeks parole
By Norman Miller / News Staff Writer
Friday, March 19, 2004

HOLLISTON -- Police Chief William Peterson walks into the station every day and sees a picture of John Johnson, and he remembers when they were young patrolmen together.

Johnson was the last officer killed in the line of duty when he was shot on Aug. 13, 1981, by a man who stole a car, and Peterson worked with him back in the early days.

"Every day, I come to work and John's picture is hanging up there -- some days are worse than others," said Peterson. "It hurts whenever anyone dies, but when someone dies in the manner John did, it seems to be worse."

On Tuesday, Peterson and friends and family of Johnson gathered to see Johnson's killer, Rolando Jiminez, seek his release from prison after more than 20 years in jail.

Jiminez is being held at the medium security Bay State Correctional Center in Norfolk.

"It was an emotionally draining day for everyone," said Peterson. "Quite a few members of his family were there. It still hurts them a lot. His son was 3 years old when it happened. It's 23 years later, and he's still very much affected by him not being there."

Johnson began his night shift Aug. 13 on regular car patrol when the Natick Police Department put out a description for a stolen black and gold Camaro Z-28.

Shortly thereafter, Johnson, sitting in his cruiser in the parking lot outside of Walter's Dairy (now Bertucci's) on Washington Street, noticed a car that matched the description.

He pulled the car over in the parking lot next to Honey Farm's Dairy (now Jiang's Garden), also on Washington Street, and ordered the two occupants out, placing them in front of the car with their hands on the hood.

The car was confirmed stolen, but before Johnson could place them under arrest, both suspects ran off in opposite directions. One headed down Washington Street and the other, Framingham resident Rolando Jiminez, bolted the scene and ran into a area of brush behind the lot.

Johnson chased and caught up with Jiminez. During a struggle, Jiminez got Johnson's gun and shot him once in the chest, and then once more while Johnson was lying on the ground.

Jiminez was arrested later that night on Prentice Street near the Hopkinton town line and was eventually convicted of second-degree murder.

Holliston selectmen Chairman Carl Damigella was Johnson's best man when he married his wife, Gerry, and is godfather to Johnson's daughter, Jessica. Johnson also had a son, Brian.

Damigella also attended Jiminez's hearing.

"It's definitely a reminder, especially after 23 years, to have to go through it so frequently," said Damigella. "I don't know why they allow him to come up for a parole hearing," Damigella said.

Neither Damigella nor Peterson think Jiminez has changed or deserves to be released.

"He definitely has gotten older, but I don't see him any differently now than I did then," Damigella said.

"He's probably had a lot of nights he wished he didn't do it," said Peterson. "I don't know if he's changed or not, but he was a very violent man when he went to jail."

The parole board will not make a decision until early April, a spokesman for the board said.
 

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I hope they keep that scumbag locked up where he belongs. Killing a police officer should be a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole! :evil:
 

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Holliston cop killer goes before parole board

By Aaron Wasserman/Daily News staff
MetroWest Daily News
Posted Mar 11, 2009 @ 12:16 AM

The state Parole Board is expected to decide in one to two months on the fate of the Framingham man convicted of killing a Holliston Police officer in 1981, according to a spokesman for the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.
The board held a hearing in Natick yesterday for Rolando Jiminez, who was convicted of second-degree murder for fatally shooting John Johnson in 1981. It is the board's third review of Jiminez' case. Jiminez is serving a life sentence at Bay State Correctional Center in Norfolk, and was previously denied parole in 1999 and 2004.
Johnson, who was 31 when he died, is the only Holliston Police officer ever killed in the line of duty. The Police Department has created a medal of honor in Johnson's name to recognize officers for extraordinary acts of bravery and courage, and holds an annual ceremony to remember him.
Selectman Carl Damigella, the best man at Johnson's wedding and godfather of his daughter, attended yesterday's hearing. He said he read a letter to the board by Police Chief Thomas Lambert, written on behalf of the department and the town, and also submitted one of his own.
"It was very emotionally moving, as it is every five years when we have to go through this," Damigella said. "It's especially difficult on the family."
The Rev. James B. Flynn, who at the time was pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Holliston, which the Johnson family attended, and also witnessed the incident, was another person who spoke at the hearing yesterday.
"While it's complicated, from my perspective, justice should prevail at this time," said Flynn, now pastor of St. Matthew Parish in Southborough. He added, "I preach forgiveness all the time seriously, but justice has to prevail and this family's life was radically transformed with the loss."
Johnson was working a night shift on Aug. 13, 1981, when he pulled over a black and gold Camaro Z-28 at the Washington Street parking lot of a Honey Farms store, now a Chinese restaurant. The car had been reported stolen by Natick Police.
He ordered the two men inside the car to step out, but before he could arrest them, they ran in opposite directions. Johnson chased Jiminez into brush behind the parking lot. They struggled until Jiminez grabbed Johnson's gun, shot him once in the chest and again while the officer lay wounded on the ground.
Jiminez was arrested later that night on Prentice Street, near the Hopkinton town line.

http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x1622003070/Holliston-cop-killer-goes-before-parole-board
 
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