(CN) – After 16 failed bids for parole, the only man to have confessed to assassinating Malcolm X in 1965 has been granted parole. Thomas Hagan is scheduled to be released on April 28.
Hagan, 69, has been detained since 1965, when Malcolm X was shot while giving a speech in the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights.
Two other men, Muhammad Abdul Aziz and Kahlil Islam, were also charged with murder, but they pleaded not guilty.
Hagan confessed to the Feb. 21, 1965 assassination at his trial in 1966. He was 22 years old and a member of the Nation of Islam when he assassinated Malcolm X.
All three men were sentenced to 20 years to life.
Hagan told authorities that he and his accomplices – not Aziz and Islam – decided to kill Malcolm X because they thought the black-power leader was a “hypocrite” who had “gone against the leader of the Nation of Islam,” Elijah Muhammad, according to the New York Times.
Hagan has been on work release for more than 20 years, but still spends two days a week at the Lincoln Correctional Facility in Manhattan.