Crime & Courts

Inmate convicted for 1983 murder granted parole

An inmate who has served more than 30 years in prison for her role in the murder of a manager of the Church’s Fried Chicken restaurant on North Broadway in 1983 has been granted parole.

Regina Baldwin, 55, one of two women convicted of first-degree murder in the murder of Julie Rosenhamer, will be eligible for release after Feb. 1, Kansas Department of Corrections spokesman Jeremy Barclay said.

The Kansas Prisoner Review Board granted the parole on Tuesday, Barclay said, after considering Baldwin’s prison record and comments offered at three public comment sessions, including a July 24 session in Wichita that drew those who opposed and supported Baldwin’s release.

Kelley Malone, who was 3 when her mother was killed, was among those who urged the Prisoner Review Board to deny Baldwin parole. Eight people spoke on Baldwin’s behalf, arguing that she has always regretted her involvement in the crime and is a different person today.

Wichita police said Rosenhamer and two other employees were preparing to close the Church’s Fried Chicken around 1:30 a.m. on May 3, 1983, when Baldwin and Yvonne Pink came into the restaurant armed with guns.

The two hopped the counter and ordered Rosenhamer to open the safe, police said. An employee later testified that Rosenhamer put her hands on the counter and was shot as she was getting ready to turn around. The other employees were locked in the freezer before Baldwin and Pink left with $118 in cash and a victim’s purse.

During the trial, one witness told the jury she heard Pink say to Baldwin shortly after the shooting, “I said don’t move and I got nervous and she moved. So I shot her.”

After a Crime Stoppers tip led to their arrest and conviction, the two were given life prison sentences.

Pink, 48, will be eligible for parole next year, and Malone said she will ask the Prisoner Review Board not to release her.

“I do plan on trying to continue to fight to keep Yvonne Pink in prison,” she said Wednesday after learning of the board’s decision on Baldwin.

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