Popke denied, eligible for parole again in two years

A convicted child killer will remain behind bars after the parole board denied his release earlier this month.
Jessica Cuffman
Jan 28, 2013

But Craig Popke, 47, will get another shot at being released in fewer than two years.

Popke was convicted of murder in the 1990 death of 3-year-old Michael Wasserman, the son of Popke’s then-girlfriend, Peggy Wasserman.

Michael’s remaining aunts and uncles attended a Jan. 10 hearing to state their protest against Popke’s possible release.

Days before Michael died, Popke burned the boy’s legs in scalding water, leaving wounds festering without treatment. Michael died of blood poisoning and dehydration.

His mother was also convicted of involuntary manslaughter. She was released from prison in 2005.

A volunteer, who advocates for victims in blocking parole releases for heinous crimes in Ohio, was outraged about the decision.

“I’m happy he got denied,” said Bret Vinocur, of blockparole.com. “But that’s one of the shortest continuances I’ve ever seen. Period.”

“Thank God that family came forward,” he said. “I seriously believe he would have gotten paroled if they hadn’t.”

In similar cases where Vinocur has advocated for victims or their families, continuances are usually set at least five years out. But Popke will have another chance to be released in fewer than two.

“I’ve never in my life seen a child murderer like this,” Vinocur said.

At first, he was hoping the date was a clerical error.

“It’s a slap in the face to Michael Wasserman,” he said. “I’m just very disappointed in the short length of time.”

Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter said there is no standard length of time set between parole hearings.

“For whatever reason, they wanted to see this case again in a few years,” he said.

While Popke’s behavior in prison has been good, he hasn’t taken advantage of programs that could lessen the risk he would re-offend if he were released, parole board records show.

Popke also lacks insight into why Michael’s death happened, according to the parole board.

“For these reasons, due to the very serious nature of the offense, and after weighing all relevant factors, the Parole Board determines that the inmate is not suitable for release at this time,” the decision stated.

For now, Popke remains behind bars on a life sentence.
 

Comments

deertracker

If the mother is out, he should be released too!

happycamper01

What? Really? He should never get out. She should have never have gotten out but the minute she did she should have been sterilized. Two injustices don't make a right. Wow! Our system has a sex offender registery but it needs violent offender registry because we let murderers out of prison. Anyone convicted of a violent crime should have to register for life if they get out of prison.

GottaloveNorwalk

He should rot in prison.

Just Thinkin

@ deertracker, if you know all the facts please share we would like to know any inside information on the abuse or non abuse of the mother if any ? Could mind control be a real issue or you just blabbering, Thanks for sharing the report and information you have. looking forward to your fair and balanced report with inside info and footnotes, Your type is whats needed in reporting truths and knowledge from people in the know always trumps BS so Thank You for your updated Info looking forward to reading it,

deertracker

I repeat, if the mother is out , he should be released too!

wiredmama222

Why do you feel if the mother is released he should be too?

rickross2

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

rickross2

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

rickross2

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

rickross2

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

rickross2

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

deertracker

Go away BetsyRoss!

FamilyFirst540

This man should not get out period..Michaels real father Stuwart and my dad died in Nov of 88 when I was 1 1/2 in a drowning accident. So I know the family..when I heard Peggy got out I was mad but I heard the facts..To all she has suffered the consequenes and has to live with that every day.So dont start talking what you dont know. I know the their are gonna be some bad comments on here..But to the family Keep Your head Up And I love you..

deertracker

I know the family too. Went to school with them and they are good people but fair is fair. Fact is, she is out, he is not and the little one is still dead. Correct me if I am wrong!

FamilyFirst540

Ok but she did do time it was not just a slap on the wrist. OK lets bring this one up the milner boy who just killed that kid hes gonna get life why the mother only does about the same time Peggy did.The justice system is not right,and never will be. An that was more then one time that kid was abused, children services were involved. bUt she still aint going to get the time he does so No he dont deserve to be out. And Go back To SCHOOL..

andrew43420

@ deertracker you know the family, but you must not know them well cause you said you went to scholl with them? I am guessing by your spelling you didn't stay in SCHOOL very long

deertracker

Maybe you should too because you do not begin a sentence with "and" and that is only one of your errors. It was simply a typo on my part. I agree with you about the Milner boy but I don't make the laws or enforce them.
.

andrew43420

you never know how dumb someone is until they open there mouth in your case its type because @ does not mean and, it is a symbol for the word at

deertracker

Get back to me after you actually READ what was written!

andrew43420

deertracker people on here are grown ups you better have respect or I will call your mom and have her take your phone away

Cowboy

Rot in jail for killing a little boy POOPKE!

Just Thinkin

AT deertracker,You are the reason we have laws, so justice is served by what is presented, did you see all the reports and read all the investgations ,or are you just judging because you like power. also to everyone else on here. any more responses to deertracker is just playing into his hands. lets ignore him and he will get mad, watch the reply for this post and you will see I hit a nerve by suggesting we ignore him.done all have a great week, nothing left to beat on this dead horse blog ROT in your Cell Popke

rickross2

I refuse to try and speak intelligently to deertracker. I stick to gay and fart jokes mostly.

deertracker

Two wrongs does not make one right guys.

happycamper01

Exactly.

GottaloveNorwalk

I went to school with them too, they were loners in school so does that make them good people? He wasn't man enough to pick on a man, why a little innocent boy?

deertracker

I thought the family was normal. I think I know Popke but I am not sure. Does the fact that they were "loners" in your opinion make them bad people? I am not advocating for him to be released but I do feel each should be held equally accountable.

GottaloveNorwalk

No "loners" don't necessarily make bad people, but killing an innocent child does. You said they were good people. What kind of "good" people would do that to a little boy? A wimp does, glad he is meeting his match in prison.

Katelih-Trailer...

He should rot in prison..Michael's birther should have been ordered to hug Popke's nuts until the day he dies.

Mime Bloggling's picture
Mime Bloggling

Popke held this baby in scalding water. It caused his death. That alone should keep him from the real world for LIFE. The mother should have never been released IMO either, but the fact she has been should not negate Popke's responsibility or reduce his sentence. As I've said before there is a special place in hell for people who murder children.

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