A Notorious Queens, New York druglord known as Lorenzo “Fat Cat” Nichols, who ordered his parole officer’s killing in 1985, is seeking compassionate release from federal prison because the “stress” of more time behind bars is giving him headaches.
Now aged 63, Lorenzo made the request in a letter to Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Edward Korman, but even if his request is approved, he’ll have to wait for his freedom as he has a 10-year prison sentence in Florida looming over his head.
Lorenzo Nichols was hit with a 25-to-life state sentence, and a concurrent 40-year federal sentence, after pleading guilty in 1992 to arranging the murder of parole officer Brian Rooney and killing two others, including his ex-girlfriend.
He also was linked to the killing of NYPD police officer, Eddie Byrne, 22, who was shot while sitting in his patrol car in South Jamaica, Queens, in February 1988.
Nichols, who spent the last 34 years in state prison, got some pardon earlier this year when the state parole board ordered him released, sparking the anger of the New York city police union.
But he still owed time to the feds and complained to the judge that his time served since his arrest in 1988 wasn’t counted toward his sentence. Judge Edward Korman suggested the druglord apply for compassionate release.
Now, in an Aug. 15 letter, that was made public on Friday, August 26, Lorenzo Nichols spoke on the “mistakes” of his past but makes no reference to his victims.
Nichols spoke off a litany of health problems and deaths in his family, and groused about his treatment at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center.
“Although I try to stay strong, the stress is weighting me down, and has raised my blood pressure,” he wrote, adding that he’s been denied a vegan diet in his new federal prison.
“I am fearful of my health rapidly declining under these conditions. I have now developed migraines after receiving news of being incarcerated for four more years due to miscalculations and a failure to inform of a probation violation in which I was never charged, sentenced, nor knew existed,” he wrote.
His plan, according to the letter, is to live with his wife in Jacksonville, Florida and work for her catering company should he be released .
The partner of Brian Rooney, the parole officer killed by Nichols, Alan Reiter, 76, reacting to the appeal for him to be released, said Nichols has too much blood on his hands, and should rot in prison.
“There’s no reason why any of them should be released. They murdered Brian, and it was a contract killing,” Reiter said. “I have no compassion for him. Maybe God will forgive him, but I certainly can’t. There was no reason for him to do that. Brian was a good guy. Brian was a caring person.”
Rooney often showed compassion to the parole violators he picked up, sometimes taking money out of his own pocket and putting it into their commissary accounts, Reiter recalled.
“I think about Thomas Rooney, Brian’s son, who was 18 months old at the time he lost his father. It think about him, he doesn’t know his father and my heart beaks for this little boy. He’s a grown man now,” Reiter said.
New York City police union head Patrick Lynch also blasted Nichols.
“It’s infuriating to hear this cop-killer whine that he should be released due to ‘stress and anxiety.’ What about the ‘stress and anxiety’ of the Byrne and Rooney families, not to mention the cops who patrol the same streets where these heroes were assassinated?” asked Lynch.
“Where is their ‘compassionate release’? We have zero sympathy for the crocodile tears of a cop-killing druglord. The judge shouldn’t have any, either.”
In the 1980s, Nichols lorded over the drug trade in Queens, and police and federal authorities have long believed he gave the green light to another Officer Byrne’s killing in his patrol car — though he was never charged in the slaying.