Cop killer to be released after 38 years in mental hospitals

VILLAGE OF SUMMIT (WITI) -- A man convicted of killing two police officers in January 1975 is being granted conditional release after 38 years in Central State Hospital.

16-year old Alan Randall had robbed the Summit Police Station before shooting and killing officers Robert Atkins and Wayne Olson. Two years later, in 1977, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to Central State Hospital.  Today, Randall is 54 years-old.

Officer Atkins' sister, Diane Stojanovich, says learning of Randall's release brings back all the emotions of her brother's murder.

"It just opens up the wound," Stojanovich said.

Stojanovich says she does not believe Randall is mentally ill -- though she says she is not surprised by his release.

Over the decades, Stojanovich has been to nearly all of Randall's court appearances. She says she isn't surprised Randall is being granted some form of release. Neither is Atkins' widow, Karen Herbert.

"I think we were all thinking that someday this was going to happen," Herbert said.

Robert and Karen had only been married for three months when he was killed. She says she's still trying to forgive.

"You hope the person really has gotten some rehabilitation and maybe will give something back in return," Herbert said.