Thomas Hagan

*He was turned down for parole 16 times, but the 17th attempt has led to freedom Malcolm X’s only confessed assassin.

Thomas Hagan has been detained since moments after shots rang out in the Audubon Ballroom in 1965. He has been on work release for more than 20 years, but he still spends two days a week locked up at the Lincoln Correctional Facility on West 110th Street in Manhattan.

Thomas Hagan wheeled out of Audubon Ballroom after being beaten by the crowd

On March 3, however, Hagan was granted parole, according to the State Division of Parole. His final release date is tentatively scheduled for April 28.

Hagan, who turned 69 in jail on Tuesday, was a member of the Nation of Islam on Feb. 21, 1965, when Malcolm X was shot while giving a speech at the Audubon Ballroom, in Washington Heights.

Hagan, then known as Talmadge X, was captured by the crowd and shot at and beaten before being rescued by the police. Two other men, Muhammad Abdul Aziz (then known as Norman 3X Butler) and Kahlil Islam (then Thomas 15X Johnson), were also charged with the murder.

While they maintained their innocence, Hagan did not, testifying at his trial in 1966 that he was responsible for the murder and that his co-defendants were innocent.