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After serving 44 years behind prison walls, Thomas Hagan, who admitted to his role in the assassination of Malcolm X, was paroled on Tuesday.

Hagan is the only man to confess to killing Malcolm X, who was gunned down back in 1965 during a speech delivered in New York’s Audubon Ballroom.

“I have deep regrets about my participation in that,” he told the parole board on March 3, according to a transcript. “I don’t think it should ever have happened.”

According to the New York State Department of Correctional Services, Hagan, 69, was released a day early due to paperwork being processed faster than what was initially expected.

Pleading a case for freedom last month, Hagan asked that he be returned to his family and hoped to become a substance abuse counselor.

Being held at the minimum-security Lincoln Correctional Facility, Hagan serviced his time by being a participant in a full-time work-release program that started back in March 1992.  As part of the stipulations of the program, he was given the opportunity to live with his family five days of the week and report back to the prison the other two days.

Initially, he was sentenced 20 years to life imprisonment after being found guilty back in 1966 while the other two involved were released in the 1980s and still deny their involvement in the murder.

As part of his deal, Hagan was required to acquire and maintain employment, support his children and abide by a curfew while he is free.  According to Hagan, he has been working for the past seven years at a fast-food restaurant.

In relation to his release, the Nation Of Islam has been sought out, but they declined any comment on the news.

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