NEW BEDFORD — A New Bedford man convicted of murdering his female friend during a cocaine-fueled rage in 1980 has been denied parole for the seventh time.

In a Feb. 9 decision, the Massachusetts Parole Board voted 4-2 to deny Gary Donaghy parole.

Now in his sixties, Donaghy is serving a life sentence on second degree murder charges for the strangling and stabbing death of 21-year-old Carol Drolet in New Bedford in May 1980.

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A prior parole board decision states that on May 28, 1980, Donaghy went to his friend Carol's apartment to use cocaine following an argument with his girlfriend about his drug addiction.

When she also confronted him about his cocaine habit, he became enraged and strangled her into unconsciousness with his belt before stabbing her at least 11 times with a knife and scissors.

He told parole board members in 2019 that he had stabbed her because he noticed she had not died from being strangled.

Donaghy pleaded guilty to Drolet's murder in 1981.

He has previously been denied parole six times: in 1995, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2007, and 2019.

It is unclear why Donaghy did not get parole hearings between 2007 and 2019, a gap of more than a decade.

In last week's decision, parole board members noted that while Donaghy has completed some programming in prison, "he has more work to do in the area of victim empathy."

He next appear for another parole hearing in January 2025.

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