Prosecutors urge parole board to reconsider release of Poughkeepsie man who murdered his family
The District Attorney's Office is urging the New York State Board of Parole to reconsider releasing a man who was sentenced to killing his parents and brother.
It says there is new evidence that could change their decision about Brian Britton.
Britton is heard in a recorded prison interview with his fiancé describing in detail what he says happened the morning he fatally shot his parents and 8-year-old brother in Poughkeepsie in 1989.
“I pulled the trigger the first time and that was the shot that hit him in the chest,” said Britton.
That interview was recorded in 2022 and is posted to YouTube.
“What would you say the motive was to sum it up," asked his fiance, Heather.
"Rage. Anger,” Britton replies. "I went into my room and grabbed a 20-gauge shotgun that was on the rack."
In the interview, Britton claims his parents’ alleged abuse led him to commit the killings.
Britton also shot his sister, Sherry, twice during the brutal attack but she survived.
He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
On March 6, the now 50-year-old was granted parole.
“I would describe this as a family massacre. It goes beyond heinous in nature," said acting Dutchess County District Attorney Matthew Weishaupt.
Weishaupt says Britton filed an appeal with the parole board and that his office wasn’t notified of the special hearing.
“We believe the record is clear here and that parole should be denied," said Weishaupt.
The district attorney’s office sent a letter to parole asking them to reopen Britton’s case. They included evidence prosecutors say should have been considered that News 12 also found online.
In one post, Britton wrote on Facebook that his sister bludgeoned their 8-year-old brother with a shotgun while attacking Britton and says he shot her twice in self-defense.
Another post says, “You should’ve played nice, Sherry.”
Prosecutors say Britton is lying and victim blaming. In fact, Britton offers a different version of events about how their brother died in his YouTube interview.
"I don’t know how he got the head injury. I didn’t even know he had a head injury until weeks later," said Britton.
News 12 reached out to the couple but didn’t hear back. Britton's attorney had no comment.
Britton’s fiance shared a petition online saying he’s not at risk to reoffend because of their “love.”
The DA’s office disagrees, saying Britton doesn’t meet the criteria for release and is at risk to reoffend.
Britton is heard apologizing for the murders in his YouTube interview.
“I’m sorry. I can’t take back what happened," said Britton. “I’m looking forward to being given a chance to come home.”
Britton has served 34 years of his life sentence. He's scheduled to be released as early as April 10.