Update: PAROLE DENIED.
The parole of Michael Manns has been denied. Manns
will not have another hearing until May 2021. Thank you to everyone
letters and forms to block this parole.
Detective Sergeant William Prochazka's
William Prochazka was brutally killed in the line of duty.
Detectve Sergeant William Prochazka.
On Monday November 10, 1975 Detective
Sergeant William Prochazka and his partner, Detective James
Toth, were cruising near the Southgate Shopping Center. Officer
Prochazka advised his partner he needed to drop by Blonder's
Paint Store to show employees mug shots of known robbers. About
five weeks earlier several men tried to rob the store and Officer
Prochazka hoped employees could make a photo identification.
The officers were unaware three men
armed with three pistols and a shotgun entered Blonder's moments
earlier. They had ordered the six employees and five customers
into a rear washroom hidden from view by a folding leather
Officer Prochazka entered the store.
Seeing no one he walked to the rear and opened the leather
door. At this time one of the robbers, Michael Manns, shot
Officer Prochazka in the neck without warning. All three men
then ran out the rear door and entered an awaiting get away
car that was being operated by a fourth member of this group.
Officer Toth heard the shot and ran in to find Officer Prochazka
on the floor in a pool of blood, unconscious. He was transported
to an area hospital where he was officially pronounced dead.
Dr. Samuel Gerber advised that Sergeant
Prochazka died from the gunshot wound. The gunshot struck Officer
Prochazka's carotid artery and severed his spinal cord, which
caused paralysis. He fell face first onto the floor, which
shattered his eyeglasses and broke his wristwatch. Officer
Prochazka died almost instantly. His watch still bears the
time and date of his death.
Suspect descriptions were obtained
from witnesses as well as a vehicle description and license
plate number. All southeastern suburbs and the Cleveland Police
Department launched a massive manhunt for the gunmen. A short
time later, Cleveland Police arrested three of the suspects
in a car at E. 131st and Southview Avenue. However, the alleged
gunman, Michael Manns, was not found inside the vehicle. Manns
was arrested several months later while committing another
crime in Detroit, Michigan.
A Great Policeman
Sergeant Prochazka was in charge of
the juvenile unit and gave help to troubled youngsters. His
neighbors stated he was always ready to lend a helpful hand.
Mayor Lucill Reed said, "He was always with kids. He counseled
kids in trouble confidentially and they respected him." Police
Chief Meuti praised the officer as a good policeman.
Next Parole Hearing:
July , 2011
Kidnapping x 10
Robbery x 10
Sergeant Prochazka was laid to rest
at All Saints Cemetery. He was survived by his wife Loretta
and four young children.
William Prochazka's name is inscribed
on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall, Washington,
D.C. panel 15, west wall, line 1.
All four suspects (Michael Manns, Dwain
Farrow, George Clayton and Duran Harris) received the death
penalty for this hideous crime. However, due to the uncertainty
of constitutional rights of the death penalty, all four of
their sentences were overturned and they were given life in
prison. Manns, Farrow and Clayton remain in prison. Harris
was released from prison in 2003. The family of William Prochazka
was not informed of this parole hearing and thus was unable
to oppose the parole. Farrow and Clayton were denied parole
in 2010. Manns faces his next parole hearing in July 2011.
A Son's Plea: No Parole
My name is Robert Prochazka and I am
a Detective for the Willowick Police Department. My father
was Detective Sergeant William Prochazka with the Bedford Heights
Ohio Police Department.
My mother and I will be meeting with
The Ohio Parole Board this June to oppose the July 2011 parole
of Michael Manns. Sadly, my father's twin brother, who was
also a police officer at the time of my father's death, will
not be able to fight for his brother as he had done in the
past. He passed away from a stroke during knee replacement
surgery two years ago.
These hearings are extremely difficult
for our family and especially my mother who is now 74 years
old. I think it's totally ridiculous that we have to plead
our case to keep these inmates in prison again and again. These
four individuals are cop killers and were already given a huge
break when their sentences were commuted to life in prison.
Now they want to re-join society and enjoy the freedoms of
law abiding citizens. Please help us keep Michael Manns in
prison so he can't destroy another family's life.
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