After 30 Years in Prison, Easton Murderer Denied Parole for Fifth Time
An Easton man who murdered his girlfriend, then drove around with the body for hours before drinking paint thinner and shooting himself in the chest in 1991 has been denied parole for a fifth time.
Steven Woodworth, now 56, was 26 when he pleaded guilty to murder in the shooting death of 22-year-old Whitman resident Julie Harlow in 1992, according to the parole board's written decision.
Harlow was shot multiple times at around 9 p.m. on March 21, 1991 after she tried to break up with Woodworth earlier that day.
He convinced her to go for a ride in his truck to discuss their relationship, but could not convince her to change her mind — so he shot her to death, then spent hours driving around southeastern Massachusetts with her body next to him in the truck.
According to the parole board decision, at around 5:30 a.m. Woodworth parked in the driveway of his parents' home in Easton, where he drank paint thinner and shot himself once in the chest in a suicide attempt.
His father heard the gunshot and called police. Woodworth was taken to the hospital, where he recovered.
He was sentenced to life in prison before appearing in front of the parole board first in 2006, and then three more times before his parole was denied a fifth time last month.
In the hearing Woodworth accepted that his possessive and controlling behavior was emotionally and psychologically abusive.
"If I can't have her, no one else can either," he described thinking at the time of the murder.
During his three decades of incarceration, Woodworth has seen many mental health counselors, according to the board's decision.
But the parole board wrote that they believed he would benefit from finishing his current course of therapy due to codependency issues.
He will next appear for another parole hearing in June 2024.
Online Reviews of New Bedford's Ash Street Jail and Dartmouth's Bristol County House of Correction
You Don't Have to Be Religious to Appreciate This Converted Church in North Easton