Ed Meyer

Dale Edward Collins, who was convicted of aggravated murder in the 1975 slaying of an elderly Akron woman, was denied release from prison by the Ohio Parole Board, authorities said.

Helen Shay was killed during a break-in and burglary at her Morgan Avenue home. She was 83.

The parole board’s decision was announced Wednesday by the chief spokeswoman for the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, April Wiesner, who said the entire board reviewed the case.

Collins, 53, is in the Grafton Correctional Institution. He will not be eligible for parole again until November 2015, when he will have served nearly 40 years for the crime.

Early last month, Summit Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh appealed to the public for help in finding family members of the victim who could speak to the board, because the crime was committed so long ago.

Walsh said Shay’s great-nephew attended the parole hearing Tuesday in Columbus and spoke to the board in opposition to Collins’ release.

On Dec. 23, 1975, Collins, his brother and an accomplice, Michael Spuller, burglarized and ransacked Shay’s home.

Collins, who was her neighbor, had shoveled her driveway earlier in the day, then paid a visit, promising not to bring anyone with him.

When Shay answered the door, Walsh said, Collins pushed her down the basement steps, kicked her and choked her to death with a dog chain.

Spuller, who was waiting outside, helped Collins and his brother as they ransacked the home.

Walsh said Shay’s sister, Julia Davis, discovered the body on Christmas Eve.

Collins, who has been behind bars since April 2, 1976, originally was sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole after 20 years.