Gunman in 1993 shooting death up for early parole, victim’s family fights to keep him locked up

The gunman in the 1993 shooting death of a gas station attendant is now up for early parole.
St. James native Matthew Svanberg shot and killed 26-year-old Dennis Folk during an altercation at a gas station in Ridge. Now he’s ready to plead his case before a parole board.
“You know, just living with the fact that of what you did, which is very hard,” Svanberg, who is still serving his sentence at Woodbourne Correction Facility, told News 12 in his first-ever interview. “You know the values that I grew up with, counter to everything that you know I did that day."
Svanberg, who admitted he used drugs and alcohol, says he started burglarizing small businesses to fuel his drug addiction.
“At that time, I was very insecure,” he added. “And once I started doing that, it got out of control to a point where my family threw me out of the house and lived on my own and lived in an abandoned house.”
Folk’s mother and brother told News 12 they are fighting to keep Svanberg behind bars. They said the agony they feel now with Svanberg's first parole hearing approaching is just as intense as it was the day they lost Dennis.
Folk's younger brother started a petition that already has 1,000 signatures urging the parole board to keep Svanberg locked up.
"You know what, I feel horrible, and I know I should never have put them through trial,” Svanberg said. “I should have taken responsibility from the minute it happened.”
The state Corrections Department says a decision on Svanberg's parole will be made within two weeks.