"Potato Hill Killer" denied parole for seventh time

AUBURN, N.Y. (WKTV) - The man known as the "Potato Hill Killer," Bernard Hatch, has had his parole denied.

Hatch was convicted in 1973 of killing Mary Turner, who was strangled and dragged behind a car along Potato Hill Road in Steuben. Her torso had been found underneath a pile of mud, with other parts of her body found separately nearby.

Hatch was convicted after a more than 70 day trial and has been serving out his sentence of 25 years to life at the Auburn Correctional Facility.

The parole board said that despite Hatch's insistence on innocence, letters of support, and accomplishments in prison, the extreme violence exhibited in the crime and disregard for the victim, gave them no choice but to deny his parole for the seventh time.

"Your release would incompatible with the welfare of society and would so deprecate the serious nature of the crime as to undermine respect for the law," the parole board said in an issued statement.

The Board said the decision was based on the fact that the instant offense is murder for which Hatch is serving a 25-life sentence, and that the crime involved the killing of a young female victim, mutilating her body, and burying parts of her body in different sites.

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