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California Governor Brown Executive Report on Parole Review Decisions 2011

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EXECUTIVE REPORT
ON
PAROLE REVIEW
DECISIONS
DECISIONS FOR THE PERIOD
January 3, 2011 through December 31, 2011

BY GOVERNOR EDMUND G. BROWN JR.

-OFFICE OF THE GOVE R NO R

MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNOR
CONCERNING
PAROLE REVIEW DECISIONS

To the Members of the Senate and Assembly of the State of California:
In accordance with Article V, section 8(b) of the California
Constitution, I submit this report on the actions I have taken on decisions by
the Board of Parole Hearings in 2011. Of these decisions, I reversed 71 and
modified 1. I have included copies of each of these actions.

Sincerely,

GOVERNOR EDMUN D G. BROWN JR • SACRAMENTO , CALI F ORN I A 95814 • (9 16) 445,2841

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
DERRICK TAYLOR, E-66425
SECOND-DEGREE MURDER
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS AND REASONS:
Crime
According to the probation report, on November 10, 1989, Derrick Taylor and Charles
Batiste nlet at a dairy located near Beatrix Sullivan's residence. They intended to rob
her. The two men gained entry to the property through an alley at the rear of the
residence. They entered a detached guestroom located in the back oflhe house, looking
[or "something to take." Mr. Batiste covered the window in the guestroom with an
afghan-type blanket and fell asleep. When he awoke in the early morning hours, Mr.
Taylor was no longer present. Mr. Taylor reported that Ms. Sullivan saw him, so he
leaped over the fence, but retumed a short lime later. After he retumed, he entered Ms.
Sullivan's main residence, which he then ransacked. As he ransacked the home, Ms.
Sullivan entered the guesthouse. Mr. Batiste struck her over the head with an IS-inch
brown wooden object.
Mrs. Sullivan fell to the floor and Mr. Batiste struck her head an additional two to three times.
Mr. Batiste took the wooden object with him and entered Ms. Sullivan's main residence to join
Mr. Taylor. One of the crime partners removed S80 dollars in cash from Ms. Sullivan's purse in
her living room, $60 dollars of which was later spent on cocaine. Mr. Batiste then drove away in
Ms. Sullivan's car. Ultimately, he abandoned the vehicle. Mr. Taylor left the residence some
time prior to Ms. Sullivan's murder, and prior to Mr. Batiste's departure.
Ms. Sullivan's body was found by law enforcement authorities. The cause of death was blunt
force trauma to the head.
An anonymous caller notified the police o[ the murder and implicated Mr. Taylor. Therca11er, a
wan-ant was issued, and Mr. Tayl.or turned himself in to police. He pled guilty to second-degree
murder and the court sentenced him to 15 years to life in prison.

GOVERNING LAW:
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Taylor is cUlTently a dangcr to the public. To answer
this, the circumstances of his crime are evidence of his CUlTent dangerousness only if the record
also establishes that something in his pre- or post-incarceration history, or his current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the implications regarding his dangerousness which stem from his
commission of the life offense remain probative of his posing a present threat to public safety
within the statutorily-prescribed analysis.'

DECISION:
The Board of Parole Hearings (Board) found Mr. Taylor suitable for parole based upon his
participation in self-help and therapy programs, his expressions of remorse, his acceptance of
responsibility for his actions, and his positive institutional behavior. The Board also noted that
he enhanced his ability to function within the law upon release and established realistic parole
plans. The Board also found that his psychological evaluation in 2008 was favorable.
Mr. Taylor has made laudable gains while incarcerated. He entered prison a high school
graduate. During his incarceration, he earned an Associate of Science degree from Palo Verde
College in Business Management, graduating with honors. Mr. Taylor completed vocational
training in mechanical drawing, vocational computer refurbishing, as well as refhgeration and
air-conditioning. He was also trained in plant operations/maintenance painter. Mr. Taylor held
skilled institutional positions as ajanitor and finish sander. He also worked within the Prison
Industry Authority's eyewear department. Mr. Taylor engaged in the following self-help
programs: Alcoholics Anon)~nous, Narcotics Anonymous, Anger Management, Life Without a
Crutch, Rclapse Prevention Program, Getting it Right series, Coming Back From a Relapse, and
Timeless Group. Mr. Taylor also received training on CAL / OSHA Hazardous Communication
standard, "Right to Know." Although I commend Mr. Taylor for upgrading himself in prison, I
believe these positive efforts are outweighed by several negative factors demonstrating that he
remains unsuitable for parole.
Several negative factors indicate that Mr. Taylor poses a current risk to public safety. After
carefully reviewing the record that was before the Board, I find that Mr. Taylor is unsuitable for
parole. The gravity of the crime is such that considerations of public safety require Mr. Taylor to
he incarcerated for a longer period of time. I agree with the 20] 0 Board that this crime was
particularly grave because the victim was elderly and therefore, particularly vulnerable. The
Board said, "[W]e have a victim, Mrs. Sullivan, in her own home who was bludgeoned to death
and killed in the process of a burglary, a burglary that was cOlllmitted by [Taylor] and [his] crime
patiner." The Board added, "This is a crime ... that's dispassionate also in the fact that the way
it occurred. This victim was abused during this commitment offense, and the fact that she was
killed by multiple strikes about her person with a clubbing device."
However, there are additional factors, which further indicate that Mr. Taylor is unsuitable for
parole at this time. Mr. Taylor claims, as he recently told his 2008 psychological evaluator, that
I I

III re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4'" 1181.

he was unaware ofMr. Batiste's intent to murder Ms, Sullivan, According to the evaluation,
"The inmate related that when he and his crime partner entered the house to the rear of tile
property, there was no intention to rob 01' harm the victim, , .. " Mr. Taylor claims that he and
Mr, Batiste originally entered the residence only to "crash" in the rear of the house following an
all-night party they attended, According to Mr. Taylor, it was not until Mr. Batiste "waived for
[Mr. Taylor] to enter the house," and said, "Come on let's burglarize the house" that Mr. Taylor
agreed to participate in the crime. Mr. Taylor indicated that "he did not find out that his crime
partner had killed the victim until a week later." In fact, Mr. Taylor has consistently denied any
awareness that his crime partner had the intent to murder Ms, Sullivan. Mr. Taylor is not
required to admit guilt in order to be found suitable for parole (Cal. Pen, Code § 5011),
However, his past and present attitude toward the crime are factors that affect suitability for
release. (Cal.Code Regs., tit. 15 § 2402(b).) In refusing to accept adequate responsibility, Mr.
Taylor demonstrates that he does not entirely understand what he did wrong and what he needs
to do differently in the future,
Additionally, according to the probation report, although Mr. Taylor does not have ajuvenile
criminal record, he has an extensive criminal history as an adult. His criminal record dates back
to 1984 and includes convictions for burglary, conspiracy to commit a crime, possessing a
controlled substance, being under the inlluence PCP, maliciously defacing private property with
paint, and attempted grand theft person, According to the 2008 psychological evaluation, Mr.
Taylor served a prior prison ten11 for possessing drugs and being under the inlluence of a
controlled substance, He also violated the tenllS and conditions of his probation and parole, Mr.
Taylor admitted to his 2008 psychological evaluator that he started drinking alcohol and using
marijuana by age 14, and that he started using cocaine and methamphetamine by age 20,
According to the 2008 psychological evaluation, Mr. Taylor admitted that he and Mr. Batiste
used cocaine and alcohol during an all-night party the Mrs, Sullivan's murder.
Mr. Taylor's criminal record is pal1icularly troubling because, as recently as 2008, his
psychological evaluator diagnosed him with Adult Antisocial Behavior disorder. The evaluator
concluded, "[H]e does have a history of antisocial personality traits associated with such a
diagnostic f0I1111llation," The 2010 Board outlined its concems about Mr. Taylor's history of
criminality, The Board concluded, "[Mr. Taylor] w[as] arrested for burglary and convicted, 36
months probation, 180 days in jail, arrested for receiving stolen property, arrested for drug
violations, under the inlluence and possession of drugs, possession of a controlled substance,
Because of [his] inability to follow the rules and regulations of society, [he] violated parole and
subsequently was sent to prison for that. , " [Mr. Taylor] w[as] arrested for attempted robbery,
which was dismissed, But we looked at the past criminality, specifically the direction of the
areas that tend to deal with drugs, drug violations and burglary, , .' [Mr. Taylor] doles] have an
unstable social history, and in fact, [he] failed previous grants for probation and parole, And [he]
also failed previous jail commitments and a prior prison tel1n that did not correct [his] behavior.
[Mr. Taylor] w[as] involved in drug and alcohol use and addiction prior to CDCR, , , ,"
Indeed, Mr. Taylor has an estahlished history of criminality that well predates the life offense,
This pallcm o[violating the law and society's failed attcmpts 10 rehabilitate him provide the
basis for his most rcccnt evaluator's diagnosis of Adult Antisocial Behavior disorder. This
evaluator's current diagnosis ofMr. Taylor is concerning because the evaluator explained that,
"[d]uc to the nature of[antisocial] personality traits, this diagnosis [of Antisocial Personality

Behavior disorder] could remain with the inmate until he is able to demonstrate continued
pro social and unimpaired functioning for a protracted period oftimc without being under a
supervised living circumstance."
The 2010 Board also evaluated Mr. Taylor's institutional behavior. During his incarceration,
Mr. Taylor was disciplined four times for rules violations involving two instances of possessing
inmate-manufactured alcohol and two acts of using force and violence during a prison fight. He
was also counseled for other misconduct five times, most recently in 1999 for disobeying orders.
That Mr. Taylor continues to pose a risk of current dangerousness finds support in his 2008
psychological evaluator's opinion that he is in the "medium" category for general recidivism.
(Original emphasis.) The evaluator explained that "[h]istorical factors that increase the inmate's
risk for future violence includes previous violence, employment problems, substance abuse and
prior supervision failures in the community."
Although Mr. Taylor has demonstrated some progress in prison, I cannot say that he no longer
poses a threat to society. Additionally, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
opposes Mr. Taylor's parole. The Deputy District Attorney described the murder as
"inconceivable, inconceivable, that an 85-year-old lady was bludgeoned to death, sat there or lay
there quietly being bludgeoned and not screaming."
CONCLUSION:

I have reviewed the record carefully and have considered each of the factors for assessing
suitability or unsuitability for parole under Califomia Code of Regu lations, Tille 15, section
2402. In this decision, I have discussed the specific factors that I consider particularly relevant
in determining whether Mr. Taylor is suitable for parole at this lime. J find lhat the negative
factors discllssed above demonstrate why Mr. Taylor remains a current risk to public safety.
Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr. Taylor.

Decision Date:

1/6111

EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor, Slale of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
ANDREW OTTON, C-80422
FIRST-DEGREE MURDER
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS AND REASONS:
Crime

According to the probation report, Andrew Olton arranged to meet Mark Dreisbach on December
20, 1982 to purchase a large quantity of marijuana from Mr. Dreisbach. Before the meeting, Mr.
Olton filled multiple envelopes with scraps of paper so that the envelopes would appear to
contain cash. During the meeting, Mr. Olton handed the envelopes to Mr. Dreisbach. As Mr.
Dreisbach began to open one of the envelopes, Mr. Olton shot him in the head three times with a
.25 caliber pistol. Mr. Olton then took about five pounds of marijuana from Mr. Dreisbach.
Mr. Otton was arrested on February 17, 1983. He pled guilty to first-degree murder and was
sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
GOVERNING LAW:

The question I must answer is whether Mr. Olton will pose an umeasonable risk of danger to
society if released from prison. In considering whether he poses an umeasonable risk of danger,
the circumstances of his crime are evidence of his current dangerousness only if the record also
establishes that something in his pre-or post-incarceration history, or his current demeanor and
mental state, indicate that the implications regarding his dangerousness which stem from his
commission of the life offense remain probative of his posing a present threat to public safety
within the statutorily-prescribed analysis. 1
DECISION:

The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Olton suitable for parole based upon his participation in
self-help and therapy programs, expressions of remorse, educational and vocational training,
positive institutional behavior, realistic parole plans, and his reduced risk of recidivism due to his
age.

1 1

In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4" 1181.

Alldrew Olton, C-80422
First-Degree Murder
Page 2

Mr. Olton has made laudable gains while incarcerated. He earned a high school diploma in 1986
and an Associate of Arts degree in 1991. He also completed a Legal Research Training Course
and health education courses. He earned certificates in machine shop and became a journeyman
machinist. He held skilled institutional assignments, including yard porter, machinist, and
canteen clerk. He also worked for the Department of Forestry. Notably, Mr. Otten has
participated in Narcotics Anonymous since 1990. He enhanced his ability to function within the
law upon release through participation in self-help and therapy programs, including Healthy
Relationships Class, Self-Confrontation Class, Anger Management, Women's Perspective,
Correctional Learning Network, bible study courses, Family Relationship Education Enrichment,
The Purpose Driven Life Program, Celebrate Recovery Program, Ethics Workshop, Creative
Mind Program, Arts-in-Corrections, and Coping with Anger. Although 1 commend Mr. Olton
for upgrading hiInself in prison, 1 believe these positive efforts are outweighed by negative
factors demonstrating that he remains unsuitable for parole.
The gravity of the crime is such that considerations of public safety require Mr. Olton to be
incarcerated for a longer period of time. Mr. Otton conmlitted the premeditated murder in a
dispassionate and calculated manner. In discussing the murder with the Board in 2010, Mr.
Olton explained that before the murder he had been selling marijuana that he purchased from Mr.
Dreisbach. Mr. Olton felt he "wasn't making much profit" selling the marijuana so he and his
crime partner, Mr. Regis, set-up a drug deal with Mr. Dreisbach, giving Mr. Olton the
opportunity to rob Mr. Dreisbach and kill him. It is clear from Mr. Otton's statement to the
Board that his motive for shooting Mr. Dreisbach was inexplicable or trivial in relation to the
magnitude of the offense he conmlitted. In fact, Mr. Olton told the Board in 2010 there was "no
reason" to kill him.
Additionally, the record indicates that Mr. Otton does not have an adequate understanding of the
causative factors of the murder. In 2010, the Board asked Mr. Otton, "[D]o you have any insight
into this life crime? Do you have any understanding of how this life crime happened?" Mr.
Otton responded:
At the time, when 1 was the monster, the animal that I was, 1 was
consumed with so many issues. The main issue was my being so
young and consumed by drugs and alcohol, the lifestyle, like that.
Also, other factors like being an anti-social person, having a
rebellious attitude and behavior, my lack of respect for life.
The Board altempted to address the factors that caused Mr. Olton to abuse illegal drugs and
involve himself in that "lifestyle." Mr. Olton indicated that he turned to a life of drugs and crime
because he did not receive acceptance from his father. He grew up in an intact family and said
that until the age of 15 he was "really good," "behaved properly" and "had no problems."
However, he explained that he never felt like he could satisfy his father and did not receive
positive reinforcement from his father. Mr. Olton told the Board:

Andrew Otton, C-80422
First-Degree Murder
Page 3
[W]hen I didn't get the satisfaction from my father, I didn't, it didn't
appease [sic] me, so I turned against my family and chose this lifestyle.
When I chose this lifestyle, it escalated and got worse and worse, and I
ended up using more drugs. And I was looking for other people to hang
out with and also acceptance from other people.
The 2010 Board expressed doubt "if [Mr. Otton] really hal s] that much insight into [his] crime."
The Board stated that it was "a little bit troubled when [Mr. Otton] kept on going back to [his]
dad" in discussing the causes of his drug use, and concluded that Mr. Otton did not possess "a
whole lot of understanding into this thing." In Mr. Otton's 2009 psychological evaluation, he
told the psychologist that the drug lifestyle led to his commission of the murder. In response, the
psychologist concluded that Mr. Otton "appears to lack an understanding of what turned him
away from the pro-social life modeled by his parents and two brothers."
Mr. Olton does not evidence meaningful insight into the causative factors that led to his
substance abuse and cllminal behavior. His explanations that drug use and his father's lack of
positive reinforcement led to his actions are unpersuasive. According to the records and
evaluations contained in the file, Mr. Otton does not appear to have ever explored why, given his
supportive home life, he turned to drugs and murdered Mr. Dreisbach. Until he understands
what drove him to commit this heinous crime, in spite of the available alternatives, he remains at
risk for returning to that lifestyle.
I also believe the Board panel gave inadequate consideration to Mr. Otton's 2010 psychological
evaluation. The psychologist determined that Mr. Otton scored in the "MODERATE" range for
violent and general recidivism. (Original emphasis.) Overall, Mr. Otton poses a "MODERATE
TO LOW" risk of violence in the community. (Original emphasis.) The psychologist identified
"lack of insight" as one of the clinical factors that contributes to Mr. Otton's elevated risk rating
for violent recidivism. Factors that contributed to Otton's elevated risk of general recidivism
included his criminal history, record of institutional misconduct, the presence of criminal
acquaintances/friends, and his prior substance abuse. The findings in this recent psychological
evaluation support my detenl1ination that Mr. Otton poses a current unreasonable risk of danger
to the community.
I also note that the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office and the City of South San
Francisco Police Department oppose Mr. Otton's 2010 parole.

Andrew Olton, C-80422
First-Degree Murder
Page 4
CONCLUSION:
I have reviewed the record carefully and have considered each of the factors for assessing
suitability or unsuitability for parole under California Code of Regulations, Title 15, section
2402. I find that the negative factors I have discussed demonstrate why Mr. Otton remains a
cunent risk to public safety. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr. Otton.

Deci si on Date: --,,1I-,,124/,-!1-,,1 _ __

EDJ;~ ~O~1
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code ~ieclio)] 3041.2)
LEWIS BANKSTOi':, 0-29315
Second-degree murder

AITIF.YI:
\1ODIIY

x

RI'YU{SE:

-

"

--------

STATEV1ENT OF FACTS AND REASONS:

According to the COllrt or ;l.ppeal opinion. on the evening ur October S. i 9115. \11'. Bankston and
his girifricnd. Liuia Dall, \\erc alone in his Oecroor:l whcn \1". Daly lias shot OIlC·c in the hc"d
lIilh Ivlr. BanKston's revolver. \15. Daly died a mo-:t inst:mtly. Aner lh,: shooting, 1\lr. 13anksl'.l1l
cllkd the authorities ,md c,dled for help from a cnuplc stilying in a trailer on his property,
In eonilast totiJc I'acts that the jury found to be :rlle, !v1r. Bankston has allv:I)';; maintained lhat
the Killing 1'1' as ar accident. He [(lId sheri If;: in"Estigators that he lwei placed his revolver 011 the
heCldb"Clrd of his bcd. He claimed the gun kll drthe hcaclb(]ard while the coupic \\L'I'C
tnClI1eu\erillg in bed and discharged. A build III'cd irOlll the gun siruck Ms. Daly in the head. I Ie
sCiid he Ihought h" had rel110vcd all ofthc bullets l'rul11llle gun earlier in Ihe e\etling.
\·11'. flellhston was arrc;ted Iwu cbys later. J\jury cunvietcd hinl of sc,:und-dcgree l11urder and

IClllnG Ihat he pcr,;ollally used a lirearm during tilt' COlllI1lission orthe crime. The court scntllnll"d

111m to 15 years to life in prison for the Illurder. anel a consecuti\e t\\U-V car term ru' Ihe lircarlll
enilancement. lle Court of Appeal aftirmecl Ih: ,tu.:ignlent.

GOVERI\ I !'iCc LAW:
Ihe question I Illust answcr is whether Mr. Han (ston lIill pose an unreasonable risk oj' dang.,r IU
suciel) if released ii'om prisun. In considering wheller he pus,,, an u'lreilsonable I'isk oj' dang"".
the cin:Ul1lstal1cc~, oJ'his crime arc evidence ofl-is current

JangerOLl5I1l'SS

ol1ly

i[th~:

record also

cs;[abli"hes that sOl11ething in his pre-or post-inClrceration histOt'y. or hi, current demeanor and
mental stale. indicate that the implications regarding his dangeroll;.,nt'~;~~ whi-:h stem

commission ofth., life offense remain proba1ive orbis
\\ ithin lhe statulO'ily-prescribed analysis. I

posin~:t

ft\)Jll

his

prcsenlthreat to public safet)

Lell i, l3ankston. D-29315
Second- Degree Vlurder
[)agc :2

The Bwrd of Parole Hearings found Mr. Banks' on ,.uitable Illr parole hasee! upon his expressiull';
"frem,n,e. acceptance' of responsibility for his actions, lack ora previous cril!1inal history,
p<Jsitiv..: institmional behavior. appropriate pareie plans. and an enhanced ability to function
lIithin the 1,\11 up:ln release. The Board also fOllndthat his psychologic;" evaluation in 200f: II its
fdl(lrahk.
l:tCkl1ol\ledge that during his incarceration, Mr Bankston has received locationaltraining in
mill and cabinctr)·. Ilc also held institutional jOJ as,ignll1cnts, includlnll I'arious clerk position:l.
d'~lltal attendant, and textile assembler. and lari,)us position,. ill the Prison Industl'\ Authority'"
furniture lilctor>.
Regardless, several negative bctors indicate that \Ilr. Bankston poses a current. unreasonahk
risk to public saftty. He cOlllmitted an especial y heinous murder. As the ~O I0 Board noted. chis
crillle 'las "particularly troubling" insnhu ;1S Mr. Bankston shot and kilkd the woman he
prcsunlably IUI'ed whi'e she "as lying in his bed. Whatever motive he may have had for
murdering his girlfriend. it was either inexplicahle or ver'Y trivial in rt'lation t(l the magnitude 0"
the oIT:nse.
\,11', BClnKstun als() refuses to ~Iccept responsibility I(:r Illurdering I\-1s. Daly. Inl1iS :'()IO I,de
P"ison,:r \'valuati·C)n Rcporl.h: maintained that lis L:un lell ell the heaJhoard of his bed and
chcharged on its ell\n. I lind his story entirely implausible, just as the jury tlDt cOlll·icted him
,rd. he appellate COLIrt found that substantial "vidence supported thciurv's lerdlc\. ;\s
,ilscu",ed in that 11ppellate court opinion, eXClIlli laticn uftlle crime se"ne C.111cd to corrobor;l'.e
fv1r. B,nhston's version of the crime. In partieulUl'. 11 criminologist failed to lind any gunshot
residue <In the bed's headboard or Ms. Daly's clothing de'pite the 121et tint. plesilinabiy. sllch
residue' II ouid exist if,he shooting occurred as desel ibed by Mr. Bankston, Als('. the
cril1lill'.llogist concluded tilaL due to the design 'lith" revolver used in tile shooting, the trigger
hlld tu be pulled in order for it to tire and tilatmerely falling Oil the bE'll would not haw caused it
to iire. Further, bloodstains found at the scene were inconsistent "ilh 1Vlr. Bankston's stem and
the evidence tended to indicat,: that Mr. Bankston hz.d attempted to clean blood otT of hinE-elf in
the bathroom aftcr the shooting. Lastly, the apFellate cuurt noted that SI1<lrtly after being
arrestd, VIr. BanKston told investigators that 11(' wall holdll1g the gun when it went 01T. which oj'
course conniets I'<ith his story since his arl·est.
i\.!r. B,·nkston is 1101 required t'J aumit glliil tQ b,~ j'ound SUitable for peruie (Cd, Pen. Code ~
5011 J. But I am not obligated to accept his version 'Jftile crime as fa,:!. and I do not. Further.
13anKston's past and present attitude toward the nilre are lhctors that alkc·t suitabi ity for
release. [CaLCocie Regs .. tit. IS ~ 2402(b).) Bv refusing 10 admitlhat he intentionally shot Ms.
Daly.!v1L Bankston is refusing to accept responsibility for his actions. Thele is no indication in
the recurd that he understancls what he did Ivrorg and what he needs to do ditlerently in the
Itlture. His lililure to accept responsibility je,r his actions and express ;2cnuim· remorse olkrs no
assurance that he I,Quld not commit a similar act in ,he ['c,ture.

Lewis 13ankston, D·293 15
Second·Degree rv:urder
Page 3
Similllrl\', Mr. Bankston fails 10 acknowledge his history of violence cilld examine how this
pallern c'ontributed to his aClions, Although he doc:; nOl haYI: a previous crimlne.! record, there is
eviden,:e that he l,cteel \'lolel1tly toward Ms, Daly and olhers on multiple ()ceasions in the past.
Accor(ing to the probalioll report, Ms, Daly's e ,·hu ;band reported fcarillg lor the safely of hi,;
l\\O daughters due to slatements the girls had nude to him regarding !vir. lltmkston's violent
lenden.:il:s, The probalionrcport furlher notes t:lat "there aI',; reports li'omthe victim's childrcl',
relatives, friends, and ,:x,,\Vilc, that the defendart has engaged in violent conduct. involving
threats ofharl11 to others and tilat he has used \V.capons in a threatcnin~ manner [oln sOllle of
these occasions,"
\'1s, ]),dy's children ad ex·husband appeared a M1'. Bankst,)Jl'S 2010 B()ard hearing to oppose,
parole "rant f()r ~,1r. i3anKston and to discuss imt<lnc:s where VIr. Bankston hael acted in a
threatening ,melior vioientlllJllncr. One 0[' 1\1s, Daly's daughters describcd \1r. Ilankston as a
"\\llifin sheep's <:Iothing," She said she "itnesied une incident where \11'. l3anhton locked \'[S,
Daly in the bathroom and another where he threatenl:d her father (Ms Daly's ex·hushand) \\ ith "
gun \\kn her Elliler arrived co piek,up the children frolll \1s, Dah's Il'.luse ['or a \\'c'ekend visil
She ai"" said that Mr, Bank,ston had threatened 'leT [ife, had swlked hl:I', 'inel that. butll s.he' and
hl.'~r mcther feared hin1. ;vls. Daly·s other daughler also cxpn:ssed kar or I'dr. l3ankstun and
diseussul witnessing the incident \vhere he pulkd a "un on her lillher and thrcakned hil11, Ms,
Daly's ex·husband told the Hoard that his children had been "scared 10 dcath" of 'vlr. Bankston
\vhile he was dating 'v1s, Daly, He also cmrobo:'atec thc story llis daul,hter.' told or' the incident
\\here Mr, Ilankstonthrcatencd hilll with:, gun, Mr ilanKston's central Ilk comains adclitinnd
inronnm:on in till: conlicientiai portion indicating a r·allern ur\'iolcnt bcllm:ur, Despite all "I'
this, Mr. IlanKston told the Board in 20 10 thelt he had never been invulvl:d in :m incident ol'
dOlllt'S:.IC \'iolcnc\~_ and he !;lib to exhibit any recugrition of his signilicint \'iolcnt lCllckncies.
CClnsistcl1t \\ith his lIllC\ illingllcss to recognize Iii,; volent tendt:ncies, he hth not taken sufiiciC'lli
steps during his incarceration [0 gain insight inl-) his propcn:;ity for violenc,: or ensure that he
\\ ill avoid violenl;e in the future, 'fhe record indicateS that. despitc the length orhis
incarceration, he ha:::; only taken one course spe( die.:!l), addressing al1Fer lll:JJl(!gcmcllL I Ie h~b
Iwt participated in llny scll~help or ,herapclllic rrogra11lS addressing vioknce, inlerpersonaI
relationships, or the like, In Llet. Mr. I3ankston h;IS lot lllad·c any serious or sustained eflol,t in
prison to participate ill sell~help programs that will <ellow him 10 gtlin in"igln inlU and address
those issues that c:auseci hi11111' murder his girltiiend, Ikcause he has not shown thal he has
oDtain,:d the necessary tools to avoid vioicnc'c in the future, he remain:; <ell unreasonable threat to
the saklY of thos" close to him and the community 'It large,

L:\\is Bankston.)-293 15
Scconc-Deglee lvlulcler
Page

.:+

I have ['cvie\\cd t:1C record carefully and have consiccred each urthe ['actors tel]' assessing
suilahi:itv or unsuitability for parole under California Code of Regulations. Title 15. section
2402. In this decsion. I have discussed the speciiic factors that I c()n:3id'cr particukrly lelevant
in determining whether Mr. Bankston is suitable for parole at this lime. [ lilld that the negative
!'aclor~ di~cusscd abo\'~

demollstrate why \11'. Ballks10n rC!11JillS 8 current unreasonable risk to
public salety, Thcrcte)["\:. I le\CISe the decision 10 p"IO[C ~1r Bankston.

DeciS;'''( Date:

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FOlvlUND (j. BROWN JR.
Governor, Stak of California

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INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
BASIL HENNEN, J-26216
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
According to the appellate comi decision affinning Basil Hennen's conviction, on July 21,1991
at approximately 11 a.m. police and paramedics arrived at the apartment that Mr. Hennen shared
with his wife Margie Hennen. Mrs. Hennen was laying on the floor unconscious with blood on
her head. Mr. Hennen said he had left the apartment earlier in the morning to run some errands
and returned to find Mrs. Hennen unconscious. Mrs. Hennen was taken to the hospital. She was
not breathing when she aITived. She had bruises on her neck, lacerations on her scalp, a skull
fracture, and a blood clot overlying her brain. She died as a result of her injuries a few weeks
later. Mrs. Hennen was eight months pregnant when she suffered the fatal injuries. Her
daughter was delivered by emergency cesarean section. The baby died a few months later in
November from severe brain damage caused by lack of oxygen at or near the time of her bilth.
Mr. Hennen was arrested on June 23, 1992. A jury convicted him of second-degree murder for
killing Mrs. Hennen, and involuntary manslaughter for causing the death of the baby. The court
sentenced him to 15 years to life in prison for the second-degree murder and three years in prison
for involuntary manslaughter, with the sentences to be served concurrently.
GOVERNING LAW:
The question is whether Mr. Hennen will pose an unreasonable risk of danger to society if
released from prison. In considering whether he poses an unreasonable risk of danger, the
circumstances of his crime are evidence of his current dangerousness only if the record also
establishes that something in his pre-or post-incarceration history, or his current demeanor and
mental state, indicate that the implications regarding his dangerousness which stem from his
commission of the life offense remain probative of his posing a present threat to public safety
1
within the statutorily-prescribed analysis.

, I 111

re Lawrellce (2008) 44 Cal. 4'" 1181.

Basil Hennen, J-26216
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2

DECISION:
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Helmen suitable for parole based upon the fact that he
had no prior criminal record, had a stable social history, had obtained some insight into the life
crime, exhibited remorse for his actions, had a record of good conduct while incarcerated, had
par1icipated in vocational training and self-help programs, and had realistic parole plans.
Mr. Hennen has made some gains while incarcerated. He completed vocational training in auto
body and fender repair and has held skilled institutional assigmnents, including yard
maintenance crew, kitchen crew, shoe factory worker, and laundry worker. He has participated
in self-help and therapy programs, including a number of Personal Growth Seminars conceming
various topics, as well as a Communication & Interpersonal Relationship course and an Anger
Management course. I commend Mr. Hennen for taking these positive steps. But they are
outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Hennen's crime was especially atrocious, brutal, and cruel. Hetold the Board in 2010 that
he slammed his wife's head against a dresser three times causing her to bleed from the head and
lose consciousness. Marks observed on Mrs. Hennen's neck, as well as the brain injury she
suffered as a result oflack of oxygen, indicate that Mr. Hell11en may have also choked Mrs.
Hennen during the attack, a fact which Mr. Hennen denied during his 20 I 0 Board hearing. After
beating his wife unconscious he then, in a show of extreme callous disregard for Mrs. Hennen's
suffering, left her in their apartment bleeding and unconscious while he ran errands and tried to
come up with an alibi. The fact that Mr. Hennen not only killed his wife but her then-unborn
baby makes his actions even more horrific.
Despite his years of incarceration, Mr. Hemlen has failed to develop adequate insight into the
reasons that caused him to commit such an atrocious crime and he continues to partially blame
the victim for the crime. When asked during his 2009 psychological evaluation about his reason
for committing the murder, Mr. Hennen responded,"! felt like I was wronged; our marTiage
wasn't pure. Emotionally it hm1 me, she was unfaithful." He said he attacked Mrs. Hennen after
she told him that he was not the father of the baby she was carrying. He stated that his violent
behavior was essentially "due to the betrayal." The psychologist concluded:
Though the inmate reports that he accepts full responsibility for the life crime, he
appears to have accepted limited responsibility by continuing to place a
preponderance of provocation on the victim, and he appears to continue to
struggle primarily with the intrapersonal aspects of the life crime.
Therefore, it appears at this time that the inmate does not have a thorough or
complete understanding of the causes and factors which contributed to his
commission of the life crime. Thns, the inmate appears to have not fully explored
the commitment offense, and his insight appears to be at a less than optimallevel.

Basil Hennen, J-26216
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3
Mr. Hennen's belief that his wife was partially to blame for provoking him shows that he has not
sufficiently examined himself to determine what caused him to kill two innocent people. Until
he accepts full responsibility for his horrific actions, shows that understands why he took those
actions, and takes steps to ensure that he will not repeat them, he presents a continuing threat to
public safety if released from prison.

CONCLUSION:
I have considered the record the factors for assessing suitability or unsuitability for parole under
California Code of Regulations, Title 15, section 2402. I find that the negative factors I have
discussed demonstrate why Mr. Hennen cunently poses an unreasonably risk of danger to
society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr. Hennen.

Decision Date: January 28, 2011

EDMitJ~Q &.~
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
RICKY PEREZ, C-SlS33
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS

According to the probation report, Carolyn Lugo was the mother of Ricky Perez's friend. On
May 23, 1982, Ms. Lugo's neighbor heard two people arguing. The neighbor subsequently saw
a male striking Ms. Lugo several times and dragging her to the side of the house. When Ms.
Lugo's daughter arrived home, she found her mother's body lying next to the driveway. She also
saw Mr. Perez leaving the area. Mr. Perez admitted that he killed Ms. Lugo but claimed he was
under the com bined influence of LSD and alcohol.
Mr. Perez was anested later the same day. He pled guilty to second-degree murder and admitted
that he used a deadly or dangerous weapon during the commission of the murder. Mr. Perez was
sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for murder and a consecutive one-year tenl1 for the use of a
weapon.
GOVERNING LA W:

The question is whether Mr. Perez will pose an unreasonable risk of danger to society if released
from prison. In considering whether he poses an unreasonable risk of danger, the circumstances
of his crime are evidence of his current dangerousness only if the record also establishes that
something in his pre-or post-incarceration history, or his current demeanor and mental state,
indicate that the implications regarding his dangerousness which stem from his commission of
the life offense remain probative of his posing a present threat to public safety within the
statutorily-prescribed analysis.]
DECISION:

After finding Mr. Perez unsuitable for parole 12 times, most recently on January 4, 2010, the
Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Perez suitable for parole in response to an August 13,2010
federal court order.

I I In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 41h 1181.

Ricky Perez, C-51533
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
I acknowledge Mr. Perez has made some laudable gains while incarcerated. He earned a General
Equivalency Diploma in prison. Mr. Perez earned certificates in carpentry and machine shop.
He was also trained in dry cleaning. Mr. Perez held skilled institutional jobs as a laundry
laborer, culinary worker, machine operator, laborer, mechanic assistant, furniture assembler,
truck driver for the Prison Industry Authority's laundry department, clothing room worker and
porter. He has participated in self-help and therapy programs, including substance abuse
treatment, stress management, individual psychotherapy and self-esteem training. Mr. Perez also
took several courses through Golden Hills Adult School Literacy Program. I commend Mr.
Perez for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by negative factors that
demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Perez's crime was especially heinous and cruel. In a display of extreme callousness, after
stabbing the victim, Mr. Perez crushed her head with a large rock. The Coroner's Investigative
RepOli described that Ms. Lugo suffered "extensive trauma to the head with several large gashes
appearing in the skin." Mr. Perez's inexplicable motive adds to the egregiousness of the crime.
Despite the length of his incarceration, Mr. Perez has failed to develop adequate insight into the
reasons that caused him to commit such a horrific crime. In denying him parole as recently as
January 20] 0, the Presiding Commissioner stated, "What was concerning for me today is when I
asked you what was the motive, today you said it was anger. In the last hearing it was drugs.
And so it's just, you know, it's hard to get, for the Panel to get an understanding that you really
understood the causes of this crime and what was the motive. We just don't know to this day."
During his 2009 psychological evaluation, Mr. Perez described his memory of the murder as
"sketchy." Nonetheless, he recalled drinking and using drugs with the victim's son before the
murder. He went home to retrieve a kitchen knife before going to Ms. Lugo' s home. Mr. Perez
recalled arguing with Ms. Lugo, and in an effol1 to "shut her up," he attempted to slash her
throat. Mr. Perez further described how he "went crazy" and stabbed Ms. Lugo. At some point,
he struck her in the head with a rock. The question is not whether Mr. Perez accepts
responsibility for committing the murder, but whether he has gained an adequate understanding
of his actions. Based on the findings of his 2009 psychological evaluator, I conclude that he
lacks such an understanding. The psychologist wrote:
In [the clinical domain of risk assessment], Mr. Perez continues to display
impaired insight into his life offense. He takes full responsibility for committing
the crime and has identified substance-use a contrihuting factor. However, he
continues to have great difficulty further exploring why he committed the offense.
The evaluator's findings demonstrate that Mr. Perez has not sufficiently examined himself to
determine what caused him to kill an innocent victim. Until he shows that understands why he
took those actions, and takes steps to ensure that he will not repeat them, he presents a
continuing threat to public safety if released from prison.
Additional findings by the 2009 psychological evaluator cause me to question Mr. Perez's
snitability for parole. As noted by previous Board panels, the psychologist noted that "Mr. Perez
also displayed some difficnlty identifying high risk factors of substance use or potential for

Ricky Perez, C-SIS33
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3
future violence, stating there are no risks of substance use or violence as he is confident he will
never abuse substances again." Mr. Perez may be convinced, but I note that the September 2010
Board expressed doubt, saying, "As he stated, he does not believe there is any chance he would
ever use substances again, and such a view is likely a high risk in itself, as believing he is at no
risk for relapse. And that belief creates little incentive to identify, avoid, prepare or adaptively
cope with any and all triggers for substance abuse once in the community." Given the significant
role that drug and alcohol abuse played in Mr. Perez's commission of the life offense, his
overconfidence that he will not relapse, and his failure to offer anything but simplistic
explanations that ignore the possibility that he could relapse indicate to me that he has not
developed a sufficient understanding of his substance abuse problem. Until he addresses this
concern, he remains a risk to public safety.
I also note that the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office and the victim's son and
daughters oppose Mr. Perez's parole.
CONCLUSION:

When the parole board granted Mr. Perez parole in September 2010, it was under compUlsion to
do so by a federal court order. That federal court order improperly restricted the parole board's
authority to assess Mr. Perez's suitability for parole under California law. Just last month, the
United States Supreme Court clarified that federal cOUlis are not permitted to reweigh the
,
evidentiary basis of California parole decisions. (See Swarthout v. Cooke, (2011) 562 U.S.
20 II WL 197627). Public safety requires that before Mr. Perez is allowed to rejoin society, our
parole board first find him suitable for parole of its own accord, under governing legal principles.
and without the improper interference by the federal court.
I have considered the record and the factors for assessing suitability or unsuitability for parole
under California Code of Regulations, Title IS, section 2402. I find that the negative factors I
have discussed demonstrate why Mr. Perez currently poses an umeasonably risk of danger to
society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr. Perez.

I

!

Decision Date: February 14,2011
Governor, State of California

i

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
RAYMOND SARABIA, H-31659
First-Degree Murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS:

According to the probation report, on February II, 1991, Raymond Sarabia, a member of the
"San Fer" street gang, shot and killed Francisco Gonzalez. On the day of the murder, Mr.
Sarabia armed himself with a handgun, and got into a pickup truck with other members of his
gang. Mr. Sarabia rode in the back of the truck under the camper shell as they drove into rival
gang territory. They spotted Mr. Gonzalez, a rival gang member, and two others walking
through the parking lot of a convenience store. Mr. Sarabia jumped out of the truck, walked up
to Mr. Gonzalez from the side, grabbed him by the hair pulling his head back, shoved the gun in
his face, and pulled the trigger. Mr. Gonzalez fell to the ground, while Mr. Sarabia and his
companions fled. Mr. Gonzalez died two days later.
Mr. Sarabia was arrested on March 7, 1991. He pled guilty to second-degree murder and was
sentenced to 15 years to life ill prison.
GOVERNING LAW:

The question is whether Mr. Sarabia will pose an unreasonable risk of danger to society if
released from prison. In considering whether he poses an unreasonable risk of danger, the
circumstances of his crime are evidence of his current dangerousness only if the record also
establishes that something in his pre- or post-incarceration history, or his current demeanor and
mental state, indicate that the implications regarding his dangerousness that stem from his
commission of the life offense remain probative of his posing a present threat to public safety
within the statutorily-prescribed analysis. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181.)
DECISION:

The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Sarabia suitable for parole based upon his expressions
of remorse and insight, his presentation as a stable and hardworking individual, his
commendable institutional behavior over the past II years, and his realistic parole plans.

Raymond Sarabia, H-31659
First-Degree Murder
Page 2

I agree with the Board that Mr. Sarabia has taken some positive steps while in prison. He earned
his General Equivalency Diploma. He completed vocational training in plumbing. He started
but did not complete training in roofing, drywall, and masonry. He held institutional job
assignments as a porter and a landscaper. He participated in Alcoholics Anonymous and
Narcotics Anonymous from 1988 to 2004. He completed parent education programs, anger
management programs, and various religious studies classes. He participated in Criminals and
Gang Members Anonymous, Breaking Baniers, and Creative Conflict Resolution. Upon his
release, he plans to reside at the San Fernando Recovery Center and has several job offers.
These positive factors lend support to a finding of suitability for parole. But I believe they are
outweighed by negative factors demonstrating that Mr. Sarabia remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Sarabia has a significant history of violence. In 1987, at age 14, he and four other gang
members committed battery by punching and kicking a victim. Less than six months later, Mr.
Sarabia and two other gang members beat another victim. In 1990, Mr. Sarabia and two other
gang members were involved in a high speed police chase. During the chase, he threw a loaded
gun from the vehicle that discharged when it hit the ground. Later that same year, Mr. Sarabia
stopped a pedestrian and asked him where he was from. When the person answered, "Nowhere,"
he jumped out of his truck and hit the guy with a baseball bat. In light of these incidents, the life
offense appears to be a culmination of several years of violent, and often gang-related, conduct.
The murder Mr. Sarabia committed was especially heinous for several reasons. Mr. Sarabia
dispassionately carried out an execution-style murder. He showed an exceptional disregard for
human suffering by fleeing the scene while Mr. Gonzalez lay wounded on the ground. The fact
that he went armed into rival gang tenitory indicates premeditation. Also, the motive for the
murder is inexplicable or very trivial. After he was arrested, Mr. Sarabia told police that he
killed Mr. Gonzalez to avenge a previous gang slaying committed by Mr. Gonzalez's gang. But
according to the probation report, the crime to which Mr. Sarabia referred happened more than a
year before he murdered Mr. Gonzalez. Andother members ofMr. Sarabia's gang said the
perpetrator of that crime was no longer alive when Mr. Sarabia committed the murder. As the
probation officer determined, it is more likely that Mr. Sarabia committed the murder to gain
status and recognition by his fellow gang members.
In addition, Mr. Sarabia continues to minimize his conduct. After he was arrested, he told the
probation officer that he didn't mean to kill Mr. Gonzalez but he thought Mr. Gonzalez was
going to pull a gun on him. He stated at the time, he "never planned to be in another [gangl's
area; I know better but I made a mistake." Although he now clarifies that he did not see a gun,
he continues to indicate that Mr. Gonzalez provoked the attack. He told his 2009 mental-health
evaluator:
"Two guys [i.e., the victim] and a girl were walking in the same direction [as me and a
friend]. The other guy walked up to my friend and got into words. The victim came
towards me. There was nothing said. I was under the influence. He had a smirk on his
face. I told him 'what's up' twice. He just kept walking towards me. When I seen was

Raymond Sarabia, H-3 I 659
First-Degree Murder
Page 3
[sic1he reached into his waist band and I did not see a gun. I pulled out a gun from my
pocket and I shot him."
At his September 20 I 0 parole suitability hearing, Mr. Sarabia stuck to this version of the murder.
He told the hearing panel that MI'. Gonzalez smirked at him, then "reached in his waistband, and
that's what caused me to do that." MI'. Sarabia also told the hearing panel that he shot MI'.
Gonzalez from about six feet away. The hearing panel informed him that the autopsy results
showed that MI'. Gonzalez had stippling of about an eighth of an inch of soot on his forehead
around the bullet wound, and that sort of stippling normally does not happen when someone is
shot that far away. Mr. Sarabia then said he might have been as close as two or three feet away
when he shot Mr. Gonzalez.
Mr. Sarabia's version portrays Mr. Gonzalez as having made threatening actions that provoked
the attack, and suggests that he believed MI'. Gonzalez was going to pull out a weapon and attack
him. But Mr. Sarabia's version is at odds with the official record, which indicates that he went
into rival gang territory armed with a gun and looking to use it on a rival gang member.
According to the record, Mr. Gonzalez did not provoke the attack. Rather, Mr. Sarabia was out
looking to kill a rival gang member, and when he identified Mr. Gonzalez as a rival gang
member, he walked up to him and coldly executed him at point-blank range.
I agree with the mental-health evaluator's conclusion that Mr. Sarabia "appears to be minimizing
his behavior leading to the commitment offense. This appears to limit his insight into his
previous pattern of violent behavior including his actions contributing to the victim's death."
His failure to accept responsibility for his actions offers no assurance that he will not commit a
similar act in the future.
The 2009 mental-health evaluation raises additional concerns. The evaluator found that Mr.
Sarabia's scores indicate a medium to high risk for general recidivism. The evaluator also
determined that Mr. Sarabia's scores placed him in the low to moderate risk range of future
violence in the community. Besides the lack of insight, this elevated assessment is based on his
"history of previous violence, young age at first violent incident, substance abuse problems, early
maladjustment, personality disorder, and prior supervision failure." These findings and elevated
risk assessments support my determination that Mr. Sarabia continues to pose a risk to public
safety.
I note that Mr. Sarabia retained a private psychologist who prepared a favorable psychological
evaluation in July 2010. But I put little weight in this assessment. Although the private
evaluation is somewhat more recent, the 2009 evaluation is by no means out-dated. And unlike
the psychologist Mr. Sarabia hired, the parole board psychologist did not have a financial
incentive to prepare a favorable report.

Raymond Sarabia, H-31659
First-Degree Murder
Page 4

CONCLUSION:
I have considered the record and the factors for assessing suitability and unsuitability for parole
under California Code of Regulations, Title IS, section 2402, I find that the negative factors 1
have discussed demonstrate why Mr. Sarabia currently poses an unreasonably risk of danger to
society if released from prison, Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr. Sarabia,

Date: February 18,2011

EDMl~~B\ochR 1)40

Governor, State of California

\Ny)

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
DA VlD KURTZMAN, D-35713
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS

According to the appellate court decision affirming David Kurtzman's conviction, on August 3,
1985, Mr. Kurtzman stabbed Michael Stephenson to death. Mr. Kurtzman was a student at a
preparatory school in Santa Barbara at the time. Two nights before the murder, a group of four
students who shared the same dormitory as Mr. Kurtzman were involved in a confrontation with
members of a gang called the City Rockers. One of the students involved in the confrontation
was James Tramel. After the confrontation, the four students returned to the dormitory and
shared what had happened with Mr. Kurtzman and other students.
Mr. Kurtzman, Mr. Tramel, and another student planned to retaliate against the gang. On the
night of the murder, the threc of them headed into downtown Santa Barbara where the
confrontation with the City Rockers had taken place. Mr. Tramel was carrying a six-inch
military knife. Mr. Tramel saw a person whom he believed to be a gang member. He and Mr.
Kurtzman followed this person but lost him in a city park. While at the park, they happened
upon Mr. Stephenson, who had been sleeping in a gazebo in the park. After a brief conversation
with Mr. Stephenson, Mr. Kurtzman attacked him. Mr. Kurtzman stabbed Mr. Stephenson
seventeen times, then slashed his throat. Mr. Stephenson died from his wounds.
Mr. Kurtzman was arrested the next day. He was ajuvenile at the time of the murder, but was
tried as an adult. A jury convicted him of second-degree murder and found that he used a deadly
or dangerous weapon. Mr. Kurtzman was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for murder and a
consecutive one-year term for the use of a weapon. The judgment was affirmed on appeal.
GOVERNING LAW:

The question is whether Mr. Kurtzman will pose an unreasonable risk of danger to society if
released from prison. In considering whether he poses an unreasonable risk of danger, the
circumstances of his crime are evidence of his current dangerousness only if the record also
establishes that something in his pre-or post-incarceration history, or his current demeanor and
mental state, indicate that the implications regarding his dangerousness which stem from his
commission of the life offense remain probative of his posing a present threat to public safety
within the statutorily-prescribed analysis. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181.)

David KUlizman, D-3S713
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
DECISION:

The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Kurtzman suitable for parole based upon his lack of a
prior criminal record, positive institutional behavior, expressions of remorse, an enhanced ability
to function within the law upon release, realistic parole plans, and a decreased risk of recidivism,
Mr. Kurtzman has taken some positive steps while incarcerated, He earned an Associate of Alis
Degree, He also took courses toward a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration,
, He earned certificates in landscaping, radiological technology, and sewing machine repair. He
became a celiified optician and contact lens technician. In addition, he participated in several
self-help courses addressing personal development, substance abuse, group and individual
therapy, anger management, alternatives to violence, conflict resolution and stress management.
I commend Mr. Kurtzman for making these efforts to improve himself. Bnt they are outweighed
by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole,
Mr. Kurtzman's crime was senseless and brutally violent. He stabbed Mr. Stephenson
approximately seventeen times and then slashed his throat. The probation repmi notes that,
when his body was located, Mr. Stephenson had a five-inch long wound across the lower pmiion
of his neck, which left the neck organs exposed. The crime involved premeditation, As the
appellate record notes, Mr. Tramel told students with whom he shared his dormitory that
retaliation required the purchase of dark clothing, knives, climbing ropes, grappling hooks and
materials for making sodium bombs. On the evening of the murder, Mr. Kurtzman and his
friends dressed in dark clothing and went out looking for local "hot spots" frequented by the
members of the gang with whom they had the earlier confrontation, When a fellow student
asked Mr. Kurtzman and Mr. Tramel whether they planned to kill someone with the knife, Mr.
Kurtzman replied either, "[w]e have to" or "[i]fwe have to." His apparent motive of seeking
retaliation for a confrontation in which he was not even involved was exceedingly trivial in
relation to the magnitude of the offense he committed.
Despite the length of his incarceration, Mr. Kurtzman has failed to develop adequate insight into
the reasons that he committed such a horrific crime. Mr. Kurtzman told his 2009 psychological
evaluator that he believed Mr. Stephenson, whom he claims was searching through his
belongings, was retrieving a weapon. When the victim stood up, Mr. Kurtzman reported that he
began attacking him as the result of increasing paranoia and fear. He said he had experienced
years of being bullied and had little self-worth, When the evaluator asked him why he continued
to stab Mr. Stephenson, even after he slashed his neck, Mr. Klllizman indicated that the only way
to remove the threat was to ensure that the victim stopped moving.
Mr. Kurtzman told the evaluator that he thought 29-year-old Mr. Stephenson was a member of
the gang involved in the previous confrontation, But according to Mr. Kurtzman's account of
the crime considered by the 2009 hearing panel, before attacking Mr. Stephenson he asked Mr.
Tramel ifMr. Stephenson was a member of the gang. Mr. Tramel replied, "I don't know, he
could be," The 2009 hearing panel found that it was clear Mr. Stephenson was not a member of
the gang because he was much older than the members they were looking for. So Mr.

David Kurtzman, D-35713
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3
Kurtzman's statement that he believed Mr. Stephenson was a gang member is undermined by the
record, including Mr. Kurtzman's earlier statements.
Likewise, the other reasons Mr. Kurtzman gave to the 2009 psychological evaluator-paranoia,
fear, low-self worth, and having been bullied -do not adequately explain why he committed
such an excessively violent murder of someone he had never met, and who had not even been
involved in the earlier confrontation with his friends.
Mr. Kurtzman exercised his right not to discuss the circumstances of the crime with the 2010
Board. Nonetheless, his current version describes Mr. Stephenson as having made a threatening
action that provoked the attack, and suggests that he believed Mr. Stephenson was going to
retrieve a weapon and attack him. But Mr. Kurtzman's version is inconsistent with the official
record, which indicates that he and his friends went to the same location where the earlier
confrontation occurred armed with a knife and intended to use it on one of the gang members.
According to the appellate record, Mr. Stephenson did not provoke the attack. To the contrary,
Mr. Stephenson had been sleeping in the park and was rolling up his sleeping bag when Mr.
Kurtzman coldly stabbed him and slashed his throat.
My concern is heightened by the fact that the 2010 Board expressed reluctance in granting Mr.
Kurtzman parole. In so doing, the Board raised concerns about Mr. Kurtzman's lack of insight,
but noted that it was under compulsion of a court order, stating:
"In 2004, 2007 and 2009, it was the commitment offense and lack of insight into
the causative factors that were brought up as reasons for [the] denial [ofparole].
This Panel also had some concerns with the insight, and again, we did take notice
that the cOUl1 order precluded us from using that. We didn't agree with what the
court order, in fact, that the lack of insight was something that you couldn't gain
and couldn't get into as far as they felt you had sufficient insight, and several of
the psychological reports. There's just some uneasiness on the Panel as it was
brought up at your previous hearings, the recent ones, as far as why you did what
you did and coming to terms with that."
Mr. Kurtzman's belief that his victim provoked him in any way demonstrates that he has not
sufficiently examined himself to determine what caused him to kill an innocent individual. Until
he accepts full responsibility for his murderous actions, shows that understands why he took
those actions, and takes steps to ensure that he will not repeat them, he presents a continuing
threat to public safety if released from prison.
I additionally note that the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Oflice and the victim's
father and stepmother oppose Mr. KUl1zman's parole.

David Kurtzman, D-35713
Second-Degree Murder
Page 4

CONCLUSION:
I have considered the record and the factors for assessing suitability or unsuitability for parole
under California Code of Regulations, Title 15, section 2402. I find that the negative factors I
have discussed demonstrate why Mr. Kurtzman CUlTently poses an unreasonable risk of danger to
society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr. Kurtzman.

Decision Date: February 24, 2011

~

h &dWv f\

EDMUNDG:BRO*N JR.
Governor, State of California

\

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
LARRY DUN, B-81995
First-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On February 5, 1976, Larry Dun raped and murdered his neighbor, Maryanne Jacobs. On that
day, Mr. Dun went to Mrs. Jacobs's home carrying a knife. He told her that he wanted to obtain
some information about a contractor. As they were talking inside her house, he noticed another
knife in her kitchen. He picked up that knife, and noticed that she became afi·aid. He ordered
her to sit down and be quiet. He got some rope, tied up her wrists, and raped her. When she
tried to sit up, he stabbed her. He then continued to stab her over and over again. He slashed her
and brutally battered her head and body with a blunt object. Mrs. Jacobs died from her injuries.
The autopsy disclosed 23 significant wounds, in addition to numerous scratches and bruises. Of
the wounds, 18 were stab wounds in the neck, back, chest, and abdomen areas, seven of which
entered the chest or abdominal cavity, and penetrated deep organs. Three of the wounds were
incised, the most significant of which was a "gaping wound" on the front of her neck that
severed all structures except the backbone. Another wound ran across Mrs. Jacobs's eyes and
the bridge of her nose, which cut into one of her eyeballs. She suffered two fractured ribs, and a
skull fracture from blunt force trauma to the front and back of her head. Her death resulted from
a massive hemolThage. Blood was found splattered throughout the house including the walls,
furnishings, and bathroom.
Mr. Dun was arrested the next day. He was convicted of first-degree murder, forcible rape, and
first-degree robbery, and sentenced to an indeterminate term of life in prison.

GOVERNING LAW:
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Dun will pose a CUlTent danger to the public if
released. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was before the Board
of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances of the crime can
provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the
inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the imnate's current demeanor and mental state,
indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In re
Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.) In rare circumstances, the aggravated nature of the
crime alone can provide a valid basis for denying parole even when there is strong evidence of
rehabilitation and no other evidence of current dangerousness. (ld. at pp. 1211, 1214.)

Larry Dun, B-81995
First-Degree Murder
Page 2
DECISION:

The Board found Mr. Dun suitable for parole based on his lack of an assaultive juvenile history,
an enhanced ability to function within the law upon release, positive institutional behavior,
realistic parole plans and a reduced risk of recidivism.
I acknowledge Mr. Dun has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He earned an
Associate of Arts degree. He earned certificates in landscaping and welding, and was trained in
small engine repair. He held skilled institutional jobs as an aide/mentor in the Mental Health
Program, Arts in Corrections crew member, custodian, clerk, dental technician and surgery
technician. Mr. Dun also participated in self-help and therapy programs, including Alcoholics
Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, A Framework for Recovery, Advanced Relaxation Training
Group, Anger Control Training Group, Arts in Corrections, Asian Pacific Studies Group,
Beginning Stress Management and Relaxation Skills Training, Communication Skills Group,
Hands of Peace/Friends Outside Creative Conflict Resolution workshop, individual therapy,
Lifer Decision Making and Introspective Analysis therapy group, Personal Adjustment Skills
Group, pre-release courses, psychotherapy, Rapha 12-Step Program, Rational Behavior Training
therapy group, Self-Esteem and Assertiveness Training Group, sex offender treatment, stress
management and tolerance, Substance Abuse Group and Victim Awareness Offender's Program.
I commend Mr. Dun for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by negative factors
that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Dun's crime was absolutely horrific. After invading the privacy of Mrs. Jacobs's home, he
initiated an unprovoked, vicious attack on a vulnerable, unsuspecting victim. He tied her up,
raped her, beat her, and stabbed her repeatedly. Mrs. Jacobs suffered 23 significant wounds, 18
of which were stab wounds to her neck, back, chest and abdomen. Some of the wounds were
inflicted with such great force that they penetrated deep organs. The probation report noted
"large slicing wounds" on her neck and face. And Mr. Dun's motive for the crime is
inexplicable. As our Supreme Court has acknowledged, in rare circumstances, a murder is so
heinous that it provides evidence of current dangerous by itself. This is such a case.
But there is more evidence that Mr. Dun remains dangerous. Notably, his history of sexual
assaults and his failure to avail himself of adequate therapy to address this behavior weigh
heavily against his suitability for parole. Besides the sexual offenses committed during the life
crime, in the probation report, Mr. Dun admitted to two prior sexual acts in the past. These
actions show anger and violence of a sexual nature toward women.
Although Mr. Dun has taken numerous self help classes, he has not taken any courses on
domestic violence or abuse prevention against women. Given his history of sexual assaults, and
the severity of the crime, Mr. Dun has not done enough to address the reasons that caused him to
perpetrate acts of violence against women. I agree with Mr. Dun's 2005 psychological
evaluator, who wrote, "The nature of the crime indicates that Mr. Dun acted in a sadistic and
callous manner. This type of act should be weighted heavily as it is a sign of an enduring
personality dysfunction."

Larry Dun, B-81995
First-Degree Murder
Page 3
Mr. Dun identified "feelings of estrangement and abandonment in his family, and ... feelings of
disempowerment in his community" as the causes of his "feelings toward women." My concern
is therefore heightened by the 2008 psychological evaluator's finding that Mr. Dun "remains
somewhat isolated interpersonally." Until he gains the tools and skills necessary to avoid future
acts of violence, I believe he remains an unreasonable risk to public safety.
I recognize that Mr. Dun's 2008 psychological evaluation rates him as having sufficient insight
into the crime, and as presenting a low risk to society if released. But unfortunately, the
evaluator's assessments cannot be relied upon because they were premised on a gross
mischaracterization of the nature and gravity ofMr. Dun's crime. According to the version of
the crime the psychologist relied on, after Mr. Dun raped Mrs. Jacobs, "he stabbed her." That
single statement is the only description the psychologist gave ofMr. Dun's murderous acts. The
psychologist failed to recognize the evidence documenting that he stabbed her 18 times in her
neck, back, chest, and abdomen areas, that he slashed her face and eyes, that he cut her throat
almost to the point of decapitation, and that he bashed in her head and ribs with a blunt object.
In addition to inaccurately minimizing the severity of Mr. Dun's crime, the psychologist relied
on self-serving statements from Mr. Dun that he tried to call for help and give Mrs. Jacobs a
glass of water, and ultimately ran away in a panic. The description the psychologist relied upon
bears little resemblance to what the record shows actually transpired. Rather than assessing Mr.
Dun with an accurate understanding of his excessively brutal killing of Mrs. Jacobs, the
psychologist relied on a version that made it sound as though Mr. Dun did not mean to kill Mrs.
Jacobs at all.
I do not believe that an evaluation premised on a mischaracterization of the crime is reliable. My
concern is supported by the 2005 psychological evaluation that deemed Mr. Dun a "Moderate to
High" risk for future violence. Given the severity ofMr. Dun's crime, it would be irresponsible
to release him back into society without first having a psychologist conduct a new evaluation of
him that is premised on an accurate description of his crime and the other relevant aspects of the
record. Until that occurs, I must continue to give weight to the 2005 evaluator's conclusion that
Mr. Dun poses an elevated risk of violence to society if released.
At Mr. Dun's past several parole hearings, the Board has concluded that he does not fully
understand why he committed such an excessively violent crime. At his most recent hearing,
Mr. Dun exercised his right not to discuss the factual circumstances of the life offense. But this
choice leaves important questions about his insight into this brutal murder unaddressed. Until he
shows that understands why he took those actions, and takes steps to ensure that he will not
repeat them, he presents a continuing threat to public safety if released from prison.
I also note that several members of Mrs. Jacobs's family, as well as the San Joaquin County
District Attorney's Office, the San Joaquin County Sheriff-Coroner, the Stockton Chief of
Police, and several members of the community oppose Mr. Dun's parole.

Larry Dun, B-81995
First-Degree Murder
Page 4
CONCLUSION:

I have considered the record and the factors for assessing suitability or unsuitability for parole
under California Code of Regulations, Title IS, section 2402. I find that the negative factors I
have discussed demonstrate why Mr. Dun currently poses an unreasonable risk of danger to
society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr. Dun.

Decision Date: February 25, 2011

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
JOSE VALENZUELA, C-68910
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On April 7, 1983, Jose Valenzuela and two friends were drinking beer and playing pool at a bar.
While at the bar, Mr. Valenzuela and one of his friends got into an argument with Vicente Mora
and another man. Two days later, Mr. Valenzuela returned to the bar with a shotgun, and spotted
Mr. Mora. Mr. Valenzuela walked up to Mr. Mora from behind, and shot him in the back. Mr.
Mora died instantly. Mr. Vah~nzuela then fled the scene.
GOVERNING LAW:
The question 1 must answer is whether Mr. Valenzuela will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of his crime can provide evidence of his current dangerousness when the record also establishes
that something in his pre-or post-incarceration history, or his current demeanor and mental state,
indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of CUITent dangerousness. (In re
Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181.)
DECISION:
On September 28, 2010, the Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Valenzuela suitable for parole
based on his expression of remorse, earning a General Equivalency Diploma, completion of
vocational training, positive institutional employment record, participation in Alcoholics
Anonymous and other self-help programs, realistic parole plans, and age.
I acknowledge Mr. Valenzuela has made some laudable gains while incarcerated. He earned a
General Equivalency Diploma, obtained three vocational certificates, and held a number of
skilled institutional jobs. He has participated in some self-help and therapy programs, including
Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous from 1990-1992, 1996, 1999-2001,2004,
2006-2010, anger management courses, a domestic violence seminar, Fathers Behind Bars
seminars and Seeking Peaceful Solutions substance abuse program seminars. I commend Mr.
Valenzuela for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by negative factors that
demonstrate he poses a current danger to society if released.

Jose Valenzuela, C-6891 0
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
The murder of Mr. Mora was a premeditated attack carried out in a calculated and dispassionate
manner. Mr. Valenzuela armed himself and went looking for Mr. Mora and, upon finding him,
walked up behind him and shot him in the back. Mr. Valenzuela decided to kill Mr. Mora for an
exceedingly trivial reason-a desire for revenge over an argument.
In addition to the life offense, Mr. Valenzuela has a long history of violence and failure to
comply with societal and institutional rules. Prior to the life offense, Mr. Valenzuela was
convicted of carrying a concealed weapon and was arrested on two other occasions for assault
with a deadly weapon. While incarcerated, Mr. Valenzuela has received 19 rules violation
reports, two of which involved violence and one as recent as 2005 for manufacturing alcohol.
He also has been counseled for misconduct on II occasions, with the most recent occurring in
2009. While Mr. Valenzuela's behavior has improved recently, this relatively short period of
positive behavior pales in comparison to his decades of misconduct, which provide ample
evidence that he remains a danger to society if released from prison at this time.
Similarly, Mr. Valenzuela's recent period of sobriety comes after years of substance abuse, both
in and out of prison. Mr. Valenzuela was under the influence of alcohol at the time he
committed the life offense. Eleven ofMr. Valenzuela's rules violation reports directly involve
drugs or alcohol. Mr. Valenzuela told the Board in 20 10 that he did not take his substance abuse
problem seriously until after receiving his last rules violation report in 2005. But in 2008,
Valenzuela's psychological evaluator found that he "did not possess significant insight into the
true nature of his substance abuse problem, nor did he demonstrate a meaningful commitment to
remaining sober or participating in treatment." Considering the severity and length of Mr.
Valenzuela's substance abuse problem, as well as the questions concerning his cUlTent
commitment to remain sober, Mr. Valenzuela remains significantly susceptible to relapse and
therefore more likely to commit further offenses.
I am also troubled by Mr. Valenzuela's refusal to accept responsibility for the murder ofMr.
Mora. At his 20 I 0 Board hearing, Mr. Valenzuela reaffirmed his claim that he blacked-out due
to alcohol consumption on the night of the murder and did not remember any details from the
crime, except that he did not intentionally shoot Mr. Mora. These claims conflict with the
findings in the probation report, and defy common sense. By refusing to admit that he
intentionally shot Mr. Mora, Mr. Valenzuela is refusing to accept responsibility for his actions.
His failure to accept responsibility for his actions offers no assurance that he would not commit a
similar act in the future.
Similarly, Valenzuela's psychological evaluator in 2008 found that his empathy toward the crime
and the victim "appeared somewhat disingenuous and superficial, suggesting that he may not
fully understand the impact of his actions." The psychologist went on to say that Mr. Valenzuela
"continues to avoid internal exploration of some of the underlying causes of his choices and
actions." The psychologist further commented that Mr. Valenzuela's expression of remorse
regarding the life crime was "unemotional, and self-focused ... rather than an internalized,
emotional sense of regret and remorse." Mr. Valenzuela's lack of insight and remorse evidences
a failure to appreciate the wrongfulness of his past actions and creates serious concerns regarding
his ability to refrain from violent behavior in the future.

Jose Valenzuela, C-68910
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3

ML Valenzuela's most recent risk assessment scores bolster the conclusion that he poses an
unreasonable risk of danger to society if released from prison. Mr. Valenzuela's 2008
psychological evaluation found that he scored in the "moderate" range for psychopathy, rated in
the "moderate" category for both risk of violent recidivism and general recidivism, and that
overall he posed a "moderate" risk of violence in the free community. According to the
psychologist, Mr. Valenzuela's elevated risk for violent recidivism is based on historical factors
such as his prior criminal acts and history of substance abuse, as well as more current and
dynamic factors including his lack of insight and negative attitudes regarding his criminality and
past behavior. The psychologist's assessment that Valenzuela overall posed a moderate risk of
violence was based primarily on his failure to voluntarily recognize his significant substance
abuse problem and his lack of commitment to treatment in the free community, as well as his
lack of insight into the impact of his actions and lack of empathy for the victim.

CONCLUSION:
I have considered the record and the factors for assessing suitability or unsuitability for parole
under California Code of Regulations, Title IS, section 2402. I find that the negative factors I
have discussed demonstrate why Mr. Valenzuela currently poses an unreasonably risk of danger
to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr. Valenzuela.

Decision Date: February 25, 201 I
EDMUNDG.B

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
SEAN VELAZCO, E-45520
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
According to a 1992 appellate court decision, on June 8,1988, Sean Ve1azco l was watching
movies and drinking beer at a friend's house. At about 10:00 p.m., Mr. Velazco and another
friend left and went to the home that Mr. Velazco shared with his 81-year-old grandmother,
Louise Murata. While at his house, Mr. Velazco and his friend smoked cocaine. A short time
later. as Mr. Velazco was leaving to take his friend home, he got in an argument with Ms.
Murata, who pled with him not to leave the house.
Early the next morning. Mr. Velazco called emergency personnel to requestmcdical assistance a\
his house. When paramedics aITived, Mr. Velazco met them at the door. Mr. Velazco told the
paramedics that he had killed his grandmother and showed them the cooking pot he had struck
her with. When the police arrived, Mr. Velazco stated, "I just lost it. .. 1 couldn't stand to see her
suffer any longer." Mr. Velazco admitted that he had struck Ms. Murata several times with the
pot and then placed his hand over her mouth and nose and suffocated her.

GOVERNING LAW:
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Valazco will pose a current danger to the public if
released. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was before the parole
board and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances of his crime can provide
evidence of his current dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in his preor post-incarceration history, or his current demeanor and mental state, indicate that the
circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008)
44 Cal. 4[h 1181.)

DECISION:
On September 29, 2010, the Board of Parole Hearings found M1'. Velazco suitable for parole
based on his lack of a criminal record, lack of serious inslitutionalmisconduct, educational and
vocational upgrades, demonstration of insight and remorse, participation in Alcoholics
Anonymous and other self~help programs, realistic parole plans, and age.

I

ML Velazco's last name is sometimes misspelled in the record as "Velasco." The proper spelling is "Velazco."

Sean Velazco, E-45520
Second-Degree Mnrder
Page 2
I acknowledge Mr. VeJazco has made a number of laudable gains while incarcerated. He earned
an Associate of Arts degree, completed vocational training, and held skilled institutional jobs.
He also has participated in Alcoholics AnonymouslNarcotics Anonymous since 1990, as well as
other self-help programming, including anger management courses, Alternative to Violence
Project workshops, the Life Skills Program, and the IMPACT victim's awareness workshop.
commend Mr. Velazco for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by negative
factors that demonstrate he poses a current danger to society if released.
Mr. VeJazco carried out the mnrder of his grandmother in an especially atrocious manner. In
beating his elderly and vulnerable victim with a pot and then suffocating her to death, he showed
an extreme callous disregard for her suffering. The crime is especially troubling considering Mr.
Velazco held a position oftrust with Ms. Mnrata as her caretaker and grandson. Fnrther, Mr.
Velazco's motive for killing the woman who had cared for him much of his childhood, while not
entirely clear, certainly is very trivial in relation to the offense.
In addition to the horrendous natnre of the crime, it is troubling that Mr. Velazco has provided
varying accounts of his motivation for killing his grandmother and still maintains that he was
motivated, in part, to end her suffering. According to the 1993 appellate COUlt decision, he told
police that Ms. Murata was complaining that her head hUlt and that he "couldn't stand to see her
suffer any longer" so he killed her. Mr. Velazco has changed his story somewhat, telling his
psychological evaluator in 2010 that immediately before the murder, Ms. Murata was
challenging Mr. Velazco on his behavior and telling him that she could not take it anymore. Mr.
Velazco said that upon hearing this from his grandmother he "snapped" and attacked her. But he
did not completely abandon his claim that it was a mercy killing, telling the psychologist that he
thought at the time that he was "putting her out of her misery" and explaining that the path his
life was headed, as a result of his drug use, and the disrespectful nature with which he treated his
grandmother. was causing her pain. Mr. Velazco's present claim that he killed his grandmother
to ease the emotional pain appears to be a rationalization. By clinging to this belief that he was,
in part, motivated to kill Ms. Murata in order to end her suffering, Mr. Velasco fails to accept full
responsibility for his actions. His failure to do so and lack of insight into his crime makes it
substantially more likely that he would commit a similar act in the future.
CONCLUSION:
I have considered the record and the factors for assessing suitability or unsuitability for parole
under California Code of Regulations, Title 15, section 2402. I find that the negative factors J
have discussed demonstrate why Mr. Velazco currently poses an unreasonably risk of danger to
society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr. Velazco.

Decision Date: February 25, 2011
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
DOUGLAS DUSTIN, K-06121
First-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS:
According to the appellate court decision at1irming Douglas Dustin's conviction, Mr. Dustin
learned that his wife, Heidi Dustin. was having an affair. In March 1985. Mr. and Mrs. Dustin
separated. Mrs. Dustin moved into their vacation home in San Diego. In March 1986, Mrs.
Dustin filed for divorce. On September 13, 1987, Mr. Dustin drove fi'om Los Angeles to San
Diego. At around 7: 15 p.m., Mrs. Dustin's neighbors heard gunshots followed by Mrs. Dustin
screaming. "help me. help me." Two neighbors saw Mrs. Dustin run into the street, chased by
Mr. Dustin. Mr. Dustin fired once and Mrs. Dustin fell into the street. He then put the gun to her
head and fired two more times. Mrs. Dustin died hom the gunshot wounds.
Mr. Dustin surrendered himself to law enforcement officials on Septcmber 14, 1987. A jury
convicted him of first-degree murdcr and found that he used a firearm in the commission ofthc
crime. In the sanity phase, a mistrial was declared when the jury was unable to reach a verdict.
A second sanity trial resulted in a mistrial for the same reason. Mr. Dustin filed a petition for a
new trial as to his guilt. The COUli granted the petition. But before the trial began, the cOUli
suspended proceedings based on doubts about Mr. Dustin's mental competence. After Mr.
Dustin was found mentally competent to stand trial, he waived his right to a jury trial and
stipulated to have the cOUli decide both guilt and sanity. The cOUli found him guilty of firstdegree murder with a fireanl1-use enhancemcnt. The COUli also found that Mr. Dustin was sane
at the time of the crime. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for murder and a two-year
consecutive term for the use of a firearm. The judgment was affinned on appeal.

GOVERNING LAW:
The question is whether Mr. Dustin is currently a danger to the public. In answering this
question, I must examine the same record that was before the Board of Parole Hearings and
adhere to the samc legal standards. The circumstances of the crime can provide evidence of
current dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the inmate's pre- or
post-incarceration history. or the inmate' s current demeanor and mental state. indicate that the
circumstances of the crime remains probative of current dangerousncss. (111 rc Lml'rcl1ce (2008)
44 Cal. 4th 1181. 1214.)

Douglas Dustin, K-06121
First-Degree Murder
Page 2
DECISION:
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Dustin suitable for parole based upon his expressions of
remorse, a reduced risk of recidivism, positive institutional behavior, an enhanced ability to
function within the law upon release, realistic parole plans, and his lack of a prior criminal
record. The Board fUliher found that he was under "signiticant stress" at the time of the murder
based. in part. on the fact that he was experiencing a divorce.
Mr. Dustin has made some gains while incarcerated. He entered prison a highly educated
endodontist. In prison, he held an institutional job as a porter. He has also pmiicipated in some
self-help and therapy programs, including Ans in Corrections, Celebrate Recovery Program, a
nutrition and diabetes class, 40 Days of Purpose Driven Life and a relationships group. I
commend Mr. Dustin for taking these positive steps, but they are outweighed by negative factors
that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Dustin's crime was vicious and cruel. As the probation officer noted, in this "carefully
planned, premeditated murder. obsessive jealousy appears to have turned into violence and
rage." After stalking his wife for nearly a year. Mr. Dustin conti-on ted her at their home in San
Diego, in violation of a restraining order. After firing initial shots, he chased Mrs. Dustin and
shot her again. causing her to fall to the ground. Then he placed the gun to her head and shot her
in an execution-style manner. As the 20] 0 Board noted, the crime was a terrible and tragic.
I am also concemed by Mr. Dustin's longstanding history of mental illness. Two mental health
professionals who evaluated Mr. Dustin after the life offense concluded that he suffered ti'om
depression when he murdered Mrs. Dustin. Additionally, according to the Sentencing Statement
submitted by Mr. Dustin's trial attorney. Mr. Dustin shot and killed his wife "as a result of his
mental illness, psychotic major depression. and his indoctrination in 'Born-Again Marriages,' a
cult like group which espouses supposed biblical punishment for adultery and reunification of
estranged spouses. either on earth or in heaven." His mental health problems have continued in
prison. According to a medical chrono dated June 10. 1996. Mr. Dustin "suiTers from severe
depression with psychotic features and has had several suicide attempts:" His 2010
psychological evaluator diagnosed him with major depression with psychotic features, in partial
remission. I tind it equally alarming that the evaluator opined that Mr. Dustin:
"continues to demonstrate some symptoms of a dependent nature such that
he has exhibited fearfulness of independent freedom. some tendency
toward over reliance on others. fear of separation. excessive reliance on
others (e.g. group. structured setting) to assume responsibility. As such,
he is diagnosed with Personality Disorder Not Otherwise Specified with
Obsessive-Compulsive and Dependent traits:'
He was reponed as having symptoms of psychosis and depression in February 2007. Atler he
was denied parole in October 2007, his paJiieipation in mental health programs dropped off.
This causes me concern that if released, problems in life may cause him to stop paJiicipating in
the self-help and mental-health programs he will need. In August 2008, he experienced suicidal

Douglas Dustin. K-06l21
First-Degree Murder
Page 3
ideation after distress stemming ii'om the decision to place him in a lower level of mental health
care. If these types of changes have caused him suicidal thoughts and distress in the prison
setting, ] am conccrned that his mental state could be negatively affected by the changes in his
life that would be caused by his release back into society. Given that many of these
characteristics undoubtedly contributed to Mr. Dustin's decision to viciously murder his wife. 1
believe their continued validity remains predictive of his current dangerousness.
]n 2006. he is documented as having felt agitation and resentment hecause he believed he had
been held unl<l\\fully since December 200S. and that the "department is acting against the law.
Lifers are being manipulated for the benetit of the guard's union'" His failure to understand that
his own actions are solely responsible for his incarceration, indicates that he may not refrain
hom fUliher violent conduct if released.
Given Mr. Dustin's current mental health diagnoses.] also have serious reservations about his
limited involvement in self-help and therapy over the years. Mr. Dustin has not participated in
any domestic violence prevention or abuse prevention against women. His only relevant
participation appears to be his involvement in one relationship group. Self-help and therapy
programs will provide Mr. Dustin with knowledge and skills necessary to succeed upon release
from prison and will help him avoid violence in the future.

CONCLUSION:
1 have considered the record and the criteria for assessing Mr. Dustin's suitability for parole. ]
tind that the negative factors] have discussed demonstrate why Mr. Dustin poses a current
danger to society if released from prison. Therefore,] reverse the decision to parole Mr. Dustin.

Decision Date: March 4. 2011

~{

r~1D(pYl

~~~~~----~/~

EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor. State of Calit()rnia

I

I

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
GREGORY JONES, H-S200S
First-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
In the early morning hours of April 27, 1991, Gregory Jones and his uncles, Marty Harris and
Patrice Andre Flucker, decided to rob someone. On the street they came across Paula Harris and
her boyfriend, Andre Williams. Ms. Harris was the sister of Mr. Harris and Mr. Flucker. Mr.
Jones and his uncles discussed their intent to rob someone and Mr. Harris asked "who has the
money, who has the dope?" Mr. Williams walked over to a group of people and brought back
Larry Porter, a homeless man. Mr. Harris pointed a shotgun at Mr. Porter and demanded drugs
or money. Mr. Jones then took the shotgun from Mr. Harris and, at the direction ofMr. Harris,
shot and killed Mr. Porter. Mr. Harris went through Mr. Porter's clothes and took eight dollars.
Police arrested Mr. Jones three days later. He pled guilty to first-degree murder with a firearm
enhancement and was sentenced to 28 years to life in prison.

GOVERNING LAW:
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Jones is currently a danger to the public. In
answering this question, I must examine the same record that was before the Board of Parole
Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances of the crime can provide
evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the
inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and mental state,
indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In re
Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)

DECISION:
On October 14,2010, the Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Jones suitable for parole based on
his expression of remorse, acceptance of responsibility, insight into the crime, participation in
self-help programs and vocational training, positive institutional work record, realistic parole
plans, lack of assaultive behavior as ajuvenile, and reduced recidivism risk due to age.
I acknowledge Mr. Jones has made laudable gains while incarcerated. He earned a General
Equivalency Diploma, completed vocational training, and held a number of institutional jobs.
He has attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on a fairly regular basis since 2005. He also

Gregory Jones, H-S200S
First-Degree Murder
Page 2
participated in other self-help and therapy programs, including various anger management
classes, Creative Conflict Resolution, various Project PRIDE workshops, Alternative to Violence
Project, Breaking Barriers, the Pathways to Sobriety program, and group therapy, I commend
him for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate
he remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Jones callously executed a man in cold blood. He went out into the streets looking for
someone to rob. Upon coming across an unsuspecting man who posed no threat, Mr. Jones shot
him to death when he failed to turn over any drugs or money. The motive for the murder was
very trivial.
The aggravated nature of the crime when considered with other evidence indicates that Mr. Jones
remains dangerous. The psychologist who evaluated him most recently found that his risk of
violent recidivism was in the moderate range. The psychologist also found that overall Mr.
Jones posed a "low to moderate" risk of recidivism if released to a free community. The
psychologist listed Mr. Jones' young age at the time of the offense, the violent nature of the
offense, early behavioral issues, and history of drug and alcohol ahuse as factors contributing to
the elevated risk. Other factors that increased his risk assessment score were his potential
employment problems, glibness and superficial charm, lying, parasitic lifestyle, impulsivity, and
need for stimulation.
I am also concerned by Mr. Jones' recent misbehavior in prison. In 2007, he received a rules
violation report for lewd conduct resulting from inappropriate physical contact with his visiting
ex-wife. He was also reprimanded in 2007 for failing to report to his job assignment. Mr. Jones'
recent inability to abide by prison rules indicates that he is not yet able to abide by the rules of
society. Taken together. his history of violence, his risk of violent recidivism, and his recent
prison misconduct provide evidence that he still presents a danger to society.

CONCLUSION:
I have considered the record and the criteria for assessing Mr. Jones' suitability for parole. I find
that the negative factors I have discussed demonstrate why Mr. Jones poses a current danger to
society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr. Jones.

Decision Date: March II, 20 II

W
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
WILLIAM T ABB, C-58436
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS:

According to the probation report, on July 19, 1980, William Tabb and his wife, Laura, got into
an argument during which both threatened divorce. At some point, he struck her in the head with
an object, causing a fatal fracture. A medical examiner later concluded that the injury was
consistent with being struck by a ball peen hammer, which police officers found at Mr. Tabb' s
home. Mr. Tabb reported her missing three days after he killed her. He then filed for divorce
and carried on with his life.
Over a year later, on November 3, 1981, Laura's remains were found wrapped in plastic in an
isolated, brushy area. Investigating officers found by the remains blue "rug remnants" that tested
positive for blood. Three matching rug remnants were found around the bed in the master
bedroom at the Tabb residence. Other items found near her remains included part of a pajama
set and a mattress cover. The remaining part of the pajama set was found in the Tabb home.
Officers discovered that one of the beds in the home had a relatively new mattress cover. There
was also evidence of bloodstains in the master bedroom.
Mr. Tabb was arrested on November 7,1981. A jury convicted him of second-degree murder
and found that he used a dangerous or deadly weapon during the commission of the crime. The
court sentenced him to 15 years to life in prison for second-degree murder plus an additional year
for using the weapon.
GOVERNING LAW:
The question is whether Mr. Tabb is currently a danger to the public. In answering this question,
I must examine the same record that was before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the
same legal standards. The circumstances of the crime can provide evidence of current
dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the inmate's pre- or postincarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and mental state, indicate that the
circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008)
44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)

William Tabb, C-58436
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2

DECISION:
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Tabb suitable for parole based upon his expressions of
remorse, positive prison behavior, an enhanced ability to function within the law upon release, a
stable social history, a reduced risk of recidivism, lack of a criminal record, and his parole plans.
Mr. Tabb has made some gains while incarcerated. He has paJ1icipated in some self-help and
therapy programs, including a parenting program, Project PRIDE facilitator training, and an
eight-week emotional maturity program. I commend Mr. Tabb for taking these positive steps.
But they are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Tabb's crime was especially brutal and callous. As the probation report notes, Laura
suffered a large fracture to her skull and her head was wrapped with a piece of terry cloth. The
probation officer noted that the presence of a hole in the terry cloth suggested that the fatal blow
was delivered after Laura was unconscious, or when she was rendered incapable of defending
herself. After inflicting the fatal blow, Mr. Tabb wrapped her body in plastic and abandoned it in
an isolated area, thus demonstrating an exceptionally callous disregard for her life and suffering.
Despite his years of incarceration, Mr. Tabb has never accepted any responsibility for his crime.
Instead, he blames others. According to a November 1981 police report, he told a neighbor that
he believed Laura committed suicide. As reflected in his 1988 psychological evaluation, he then
began accusing his son and one of his son's friends of the murder stating that they were
"motivated by obtaining the inheritance." He blamed his conviction on his la\vyer who he says
provided him with an inadequate defense. In 1993, Mr. Tabb changed his story again. He told
his psychological evaluator that he no longer believed that his son was responsible, but that an
unknown assailant killed his wife. In 2000, he partially reverted to blaming his son for Laura's
death. He told his psychological evaluator that he did not believe that his son "directly" killed
his wife. When the evaluator asked him if his son might have arranged for Laura's murder, he
noted that his son received $125,000 in insurance proceeds and $78,000 from the sale of their
home. More recently, he has again theorized that the murder was committed by an unknown
assailant and that maybe somebody was mad at her. And as noted in his most recent evaluation,
he focuses "primarily on describing his poor legal representation aJld the fact that he was 'sold
out by the system' in general."
The psychologist who assessed him in 20 10 explained that his lack of insight into the reasons he
committed the crime indicates that he is no better equipped today to deal with interpersonal
conflicts than he was when he killed his wife. As the psychologist explained:
Given his staunch claim of innocence over the last 30 years, it is not expected that
he will be suddenly become more candid in the future. He continues to use the
defenses of denial and repression to psychologically deal with the emotional
repercussions of the intolerable realities of the life crime. Although Mr. Tabb
seems to have the cognitive f0!1itude necessary to gain insights into the
antecedents of his behavior, it seems as if he is making the conscious choice not
to. Without a willingness to delve deeper into the causative factors of such
violent behavior, it CaJ1not be expected that he has developed the skills necessary
to deal with interpersonal conflicts in a more constructive manner.

William Tabb, C-58436
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3
Even the 2010 Board concluded, "Is there credibility concerns [sic], yes. Is there a failure to take
responsibility for the crime, yes." Mr. Tabb is not required to admit guilt to be found suitable for
parole. But his past and present attitude toward the crime are factors that affect parole
suitability. (Cal.Code Regs., tit. 15 § 2402(b).) [n refusing to accept responsibility, Mr. Tabb
shows no understanding of what he did \vrong and what he needs to do differently in the future.
Without this understanding, I am concerned that he continues to pose a danger to the public.
The record has also consistently indicated that Mr. Tabb lacks genuine remorse for his wife's
death. His 2010 psychological evaluator found his expression of sympathy over his wife's death
to be shallow, explaining that "although he stated he was upset after his wife's disappearance, he
'carried on' with his life before the discovery of her body." The psychologist concluded that
"Mr. Tabb placed more importance on the loss of his home over the loss of his wife after his
conviction." The evaluator also opined, as previous evaluators had, that:
there appears to be a narcissistic component to Mr. Tabb's personality. Although
not pm1icularly flagrant, there are more subtle signs of self-centeredness as
evidenced by his relishing in past accomplishments, taking pride in his highly
moral perception of himself, failure to accept personal responsibility for his
actions, failure to display genuine empathy for the victim, as well as the lack of
insight and appreciation for how his actions have impacted others.
Mr. Tabb's failure to exhibit genuine remorse or empathy for his wife's death shows a callous
disregard for human suffering.
CONCLUSION:
In sum, Mr. Tabb is someone who committed a brutal, callous murder for which he has never
accepted any responsibility. Neither has he ever displayed any insight into his violent actions,
nor any genuine remorse for his victim's fate. When taken together, this evidence indicates that
he poses a current threat of further violence if released.
I have considered the record and the criteria for assessing Mr. Tabb's suitability for parole. I
find that the negative factors [ have discussed dcmonstrate why Mr. Tabb poses a current danger
to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr. Tabb.

Decision Date: March 11,20 II
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
RICKY CARPENTER, B-95921
First-degree murder
AFt'IRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS

On January 16, 1978, Ricky Carpenter beat, strangled, and stabbed his 57-year-old neighbor
Evelyn Bentley. An autopsy revealed Ms. Bentley had been stabbed eight times. She died from
a stab wound to the neck. There were also five stab wounds on her left breast. Mr. Carpenter
has said that he was angry at Ms. Bentley because he blamed her for his mother's changed
attitude toward him. He also felt she had played a role in his mother and stepfather splitting up.
On the day of the murder, he knocked on her door and asked her if he could use her phone
because his was out of order. She let him in, and as she brought him a phone, he punched her in
the face, knocking her to the floor. He then choked her until she was unconscious. He retrieved
a butcher's knife from the kitchen and began stabbing her, which caused her to regain
consciousness. She struggled and he attempted to suffocate her with a small area rug, leaving the
knife embedded in her chest as he did so. As she continued to struggle, he delivered the fatal
stab wound to her neck. After killing her, he took $42 from her wallet to make it look like a
burglary. He went home and washed his bloody clothes. He told police he was drunk and had
taken three Valium before committing the murder.
GOVERNING LAW:
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Carpenter will pose a cunent danger to the public if
released. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was before the Board
of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances of the crime can
provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the
inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and mental state,
indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (1n re
Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)
.
DECISION:
The Board found Mr. Carpenter suitable for parole based on his remorse, insight, completion of
vocational training, prison job record, participation in education and self-help programs, realistic
parole plans, reduced risk of recidivism due to age, and lack of assaultive history as a juvenile.

Ricky Carpenter, B-95921
First-Degree Murder
Page 2
I acknowledge Mr. Carpenter has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He earned
a General Equivalency Diploma as well as an Associate of A11s degree. He completed a mill and
cabinet vocational program and held a number of institutional jobs in the areas of carpentry and
fumiture construction, amongst others. He also participated in self-help programs including
Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, Victim Offender Education Group,
Addiction Recovery Counseling, Inmates Putting Away Childish Things relationships workshop,
Creative Conflict Resolution, Kairos Men's Retreat, Self-Esteem Enhancement Group,
Assertiveness/Self-Esteem Group, Substance Abuse Group, Beginning Stress Management and
Relaxation Skills Training Group, and individual and group psychotherapy. I commend Mr.
Carpenter for taking these positive steps. But the circumstances of the commitment offense,
when considered with other relevant evidence, show that Mr. Carpenter remains dangerous.
For inexplicable reasons, Mr. Carpenter committed a premeditated, vicious murder of a
vulnerable and unsuspecting neighbor. He savagely attacked Ms. Bentley without provocation,
and as she struggled for her life, he stabbed her repeatedly and suffocated her. In planning and
carrying out this cold-blooded and brutal murder, Mr. Carpenter showed a callous disregard for
Ms. Bentley's life and her suffering.
The nature of Mr. Carpenter's crime, when considered together with other relevant evidence,
indicates that he still poses a threat to society. The psychologist who evaluated him in 2009
rated him in the "moderate" range for psychopathy, and in the "moderate" risk range for both
violent and general recidivism. Overall, the psychologist found that he poses a "moderate" risk
for violence in the free community. The psychologist pointed to Mr. Carpenter's relationship
instability, substance abuse, young age at the time of the crime, his present lack of insight,
impulsivity, and unresponsiveness to treatment as factors that contributed to his elevated risk of
violent recidivism.
The psychologist also noted that Mr. Carpenter remains deficient in his ability to experience
empathy for other people. This is particularly troubling because Mr. Carpenter's crime
demonstrated a deficient ability to empathize with other people. The fact that he remains
deficient in this area indicates that he remains prone to violence against others for trivial reasons.
Also, Mr. Carpenter identified his inability to control anger as one of the factors that drove him
to commit the crime. But he has done very little over the years to address his anger problem.
Mr. Carpenter's only self-help programming aimed at addressing anger management was an 18
to 21 hour workshop entitled "Creative Conflict Resolution" in 2005. In 2009, the Board
implored him to participate in self-help programming designed to address anger issues, or, if no
such program was available, read self-help books addressing anger management. Despite this
instruction from the Board, Mr. Carpenter has not taken steps to address his anger issues.
In sum, Mr. Carpenter committed a disturbingly vicious, callous, and inexplicable crime. The
psychologist, who most recently evaluated him, concluded he still presents an elevated risk of
violence if released, and that his ability to feel empathy for others is deficient. And while the
nature of the murder evidences a severe anger problem, Mr. Carpenter's limited efforts to
address this problem indicate he has not yet gained the ability to control his anger. This
evidence, when taken together, indicates that Mr. Carpenter remains a danger to society.

Ricky Carpenter, B-95921
First-Degree Murder
Page 3
CONCLUSION:

J have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Carpenter is cUlTcntly
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I tind the evidence I have discussed shows why he
cUlTently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Carpenter.

Decision Date: March 18.2011
EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Govemor, State of Califomia

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
CALVIN THORNTON, C-07226
First-Degree Murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS:
In April of 1972, Calvin Thornton, Phillip Ross and Larry Rich were socializing at a friend's
house next door to James Dover's home, At some point, ML Rich went over to ML Dover's
house to purchase drugs and have a drink When ML Rich returned, ML Thornton told him to go
back to ML Dover's house and ask for money. ML Thornton told him that ifML Dover did not
give him any money he and Mr. Ross would rob Mr. Dover.
A few minutes later, Mr. Thornton and Mr. Ross appeared at Mr.Dover's house and asked ifhe
had given Mr. Rich money. He replied that he did not have any money. Mr. Ross then threw
Mr. Dover to the floor and he and Mr. Thornton beat and kicked him. They then dragged him
around the room by his ears and genitals. Mr. Thornton and Mr. Ross took several items out of
ML Dover's house and placed them in a car. Mr. Dover's body was found lying on the floor in
his home. The coroner determined that he died from a blow to the head.
Mr. Thornton was not connected to the crime until several years lateL Police arrested him in
June of 1978. A jury convicted him of first-degree murder and the cOllli sentenced him to 7
years to life in prison.

GOVERNING LAW:
The question 1 must answer is whether Mr. Thornton is currently a danger to the public. In
ans\vering this question, 1 must examine the same record that was before the Board of Parole
Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances of the crime can provide
evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the
inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and mental state,
indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousncss. (In re
Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)

DECISION:
On October 21,2010, the Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Thornton suitable for parole based
upon his participation in self-help programs and vocational training, positive institutional work
record, realistic parole plans, enhanced ability to function within the law upon release,
expressions of remorse, and reduced risk ofrecidivism due to age. The Board further found that
he was under "significant stress" due to family obligations at the time of the murder that
contributed to his criminal lifestyle.
Mr. Thornton has made some gains while incarcerated. He completed vocational training in
furniture upholstery and held a number of institutional jobs. He also participated in Alcoholics
Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous and acted as a mentor in the Amity Substance Abuse
Program. I commend Mr. Thornton for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by
negative factors that dcmonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Thornton murdered Mr. Dover in an especially cruel and heinous manner. He and his crime
pm1ner beat and defiled the innocent 63-year-old man and left him to die. They were motivated
solely by their desire for money, a very trivial motive in relation to the offense. The two men
carried out the attack in an unnecessarily gruesome manner demonstrating an extreme callous
disregard for the suffering victim.
The nature ofMr. Thornton's crime, when considered together with other relevant evidence,
indicates that he still poses a threat to society. His 2008 psychological evaluation found that he
rates in the "moderate" range for psychopathy, in the "moderate" range for risk of both violent
recidivism and general recidivism, and overall poses a "moderate" risk of violence in the free
community. The psychologist pointed to Mr. Thornton's criminal history, young age at the time
of the crime, lack of remorse, lack of empathy, impulsivity, and his lack of insight as factors that
contributed to his elevated risk of recidivism. The psychologist noted that Mr. Thornton
p0!1rayed himself in an overly favorable light and appeared somewhat grandiose, and that he had
a Personality Disorder with antisocial traits that further increased his risk of violence.
Further, Mr. Thornton maintains, as he has throughout his incarceration, that he was not present
when the murder occurred. He told his psychologist in 2008 that "(s)omebody put me at the
scene of the crime. A paid informant." Mr. Thornton's claims conflict with the testimony ofMr.
Ross and two other witnesses. His assertion of innocence also conflicts with the appellate court
opinion that found Mr. Thomton was an active participant in the murder.
Mr. Thornton is not required to admit guilt to be found suitable for parole (Pen. Code § SOlI).
But I am not obligated to accept his version of the crime as fact, and 1 do not. Mr. Thornton's
past and present attitude toward the crime are factors that affect suitability for release. (Cal.Code
Regs., tit. 15 § 2402(b).) By refusing to admit his involvement in the murder, he shows that he
has no insight into why he committed the crime, he shows no remorse for the pain his actions
caused, and he refuses to accept responsibility for his actions. His current mental state with
respect to insight remorse, and acceptance of responsibility indicates that he is still prone to
committing violent acts.

CONCLUSION:
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Thornton is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Thornton.

Decision Date: March 18,2011

{M, 17 fno~~

EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
ANDREW BURLESON, D-29913
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On June 28, 1985, Andrew Burleson returned home to find that his wife, Shirley Burleson, had
moved out and was planning to seek a divorce. Her 14 year-old daughter said that Mr. Burleson,
her step-father. had molested her. Later that day, Mr. Burleson confronted Mrs. Burleson and
her brother, David Turriff, about her decision to leave him. After the verbal confrontation, Mr.
Burleson left the residence that Mrs. Burleson was staying at.
Later in the evening, Mr. Burleson returned to the residence and another verbal confrontation
occurred between Mrs. Burleson and Mr. Burleson. Mrs. Burleson's sister, Linda Jackson,
injected herself into the conversation and Mr. Burleson pointed a pistol at Ms. Jackson and
threatened to shoot her. Mr. Turriffthen challenged Mr. Burleson to a fight. When Mr.
Burleson refused, Mr. Turriff slapped him in the face. Mr. Burleson then shot Mr. Turriff. He
then shot Cheryl Postula, Mr. Turrifrs pregnant girlfriend. Mr. Burleson then fired multiple
shots in the direction of a nearby residence before leaving the scene on foot. Mr. Turriff died as
a result of the gunshot wound. Ms. Postula suffered serious injury and survived but she lost the
baby.

GOVERNING LAW:
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Burleson will pose a current danger to the public if
released. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was before the Board
of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances of the crime can
provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the
inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and mental state,
indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In re
Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4'h 1181, 1214.)

DECISION:
The Board found Mr. Burleson suitable for parole based on his remorse, participation in self-help
programs, completion of vocational training, prison job record, participation in education,
realistic parole plans, lack of institutional misconduct, positive psychological evaluation, and
reduced risk of recidivism due to age.

Andrew Burleson, D-29913
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
I acknowledge Mr. Burleson has taken some positive steps while incarcerated. He participated in
drafting, and mill and cabinet vocational programs and held a number of institutional jobs. Hc
also participated in a few self-help programs including various Corrections Learning Courses
concerning topics such as victim's awareness, parenting, angcr management, and stress
management. He also participated in a Character Development course, the Mind Transformation
Self-Help Program, and the Responsibility of Self-Detennination Program. I commend Mr.
Burleson for taking these positive steps. But the circumstances of the commitment offense,
along with other relevant evidence, show that Mr. Burleson remains dangerous.
Mr. Burleson terrorized his wife's family, killing her brother and her brother's unborn child,
seriously injuring her brother's girlfriend, and threatening to kill her sister. Fortunately, no one
else was injured when Mr. Burleson then inexplicably fired multiple shots in the direction of a
neighbor's house. The motive for Mr. Burleson's rampage-his wife leaving him after his stepdaughter accused him of molesting her-was very trivial in relation to the offense and evidences
an extreme inability to control his anger and manage personal relationships.
Mr. Burleson's ability to manage his anger remains a serious concern. Mr. Burleson's 2008
psychological eval uation indicated that he was agitated and somewhat arrogant and glib. He told
the psychologist that he was agitated because he believed the Board was trying to keep him in
prison. When asked about his anger problems by the Board in 2010, Mr. Burleson admitted that
he "use to have a bad temper" but claimed "I haven't been angry in years." He then steered the
discussion to his accomplishments in prison which were unrelated to his anger problem. The fact
is he has done little if anything in prison to address his anger management problem other than a
single anger management course in 2009. Instead of addressing how he deals with feelings of
anger when they inevitably arise, he claims he simply does not experience anger. Mr. Burleson's
insight into his anger management problem and efforts to address that problem remain
inadequate considering the nature of his crime.
Similarly, he has not participated in sufficient self-help to address his issues with intimate
relationships and domestic violence. Addressing these issues is particularly important because
Mr. Burleson plans to live with Mrs. Burleson, and it was a heated argument between the two of
them that precipitated the murder. Also, a few years prior to the life crime, Mr. Burleson pled
guilty to assaulting a woman with whom he was living with at the time. Without some
assurances that Mr. Burleson has acquired the skills to maintain an intimate relationship with his
wife and others close to him, those same people remain at risk of future violence ifhe is released
from prison.
This conclusion is confirmed by confidential information in his file and more recently received
information that I believe will be deemed confidential which indicates that Mr. Burle·son has
anger issues, is manipulative, and remains dangerous. I cannot describe this information in
greater detail without jeopardizing the sources of the information. But the relevance of this
information to assessing Mr. Burleson's parole suitability cannot be discounted.
Further, Mr. Burleson refuses to fully accept responsibility for his actions. Despite pleading
guilty to attempted murder for shooting Ms. Postula, he told the Board in 2010 that he did not
intentionally shoot her but that he shot two warning shots at the ground and one of the bullets hit

Andrew Burleson, D-29913
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3
her on a ricochet. According to the 1987 appellate cOUl1 opinion. Mr. Burleson' s version of the
facts at that time was that after he shot Mr. Turriff. Ms. Postula ran at him and he shot her out of
fear. In 2001, he told his psychological evaluator that the reason for his crime was his
fearfulness for his own safety and his belief that his life was being ruined. Similarly. as
previously mentioned, he recently blamed the Board for the fact that he remained in prison rather
than recognizing that he was to blame. Mr. Burleson's failure to accept responsibility for his
actions indicates that he does not appreciate the wrongfulness of those actions. This creates great
concern that he would commit similar acts of violence in the future.
CONCLUSION:
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Burleson is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole. I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore. I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Burleson.

Decision Date: March 18,2011

()J~~o_~/j

EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
DA VID BURGESS, C-26009
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

ST A TEMENT OF FACTS

On May 29,1980, David Burgess l was at the apartment of Ray Stoffer, whom he had known for
about a month. Mr. Stoffer and Mr. Burgess got into an argument about money Mr. Burgess
believed Mr. Stoffer owed him for sexual services Mr. Burgess provided. After arguing for
approximately fifteen minutes, Mr. Burgess choked Mr. Stoffer with an extension cord and then
stabbed him thi11y-one times. He died as a result of his injuries. After the murder, Mr. Burgess
stole Mr. Stoffer's car. A couple months later he was arrested in Los Angeles and subsequently
convicted of stabbing another man. He admitted to killing Mr. Stoffer while incarcerated for the
other offense.
GOVERNING LAW:

The question I must answer is whether Mr. Burgess will pose a current danger to the public if
released. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was before the Board
of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances of the crime can
provide evidence of cunent dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the
inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's cunent demeanor and mental state,
indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In re
Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)
DECISION:

The Board found Mr. Burgess suitable for parole based on his remorse, completion of
educational programs, participation in self-help programs, vocational training, realistic parole
plans, marketable job skills, and reduced risk of recidivism due to age.
I acknowledge Mr. Burgess has taken some positive steps while incarcerated. He obtained a
General Equivalency Diploma, an Associate of Arts degree, and a Bachelor of Science degree.
He participated in drafting and office machine repair vocational programs and held a number of
institutional jobs. He also participated in a number of self-help programs including Alcoholics
Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, Substance Abuse Therapy Group, Anger Control Group,
Partnership for Re-entry group, Lifer Decision Making seminar, Life Skills for Lifers seminar,
I

Burgess is also known as Daniel Giammarco

David Burgess, C-26009
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
Lifer Group, Marriage and Family course, and Interpretive Analysis Therapy Group. He
participated in individual psychotherapy and group psychotherapy for a number of years.
commend Mr. Burgess for taking these positive steps. But the circumstances of the commitment
offense, along with other relevant evidence, show that Mr. Burgess remains dangerous.
Mr. Burgess killed Mr. Stoffer in a pm1icularly callous manner, choking him to the point of
unconsciousness and then mutilating his body by stabbing him 31 times. Mr. Burgess killed Mr.
Stoffer for the exceedingly trivial reason that he refused to pay Mr. Burgess for money he
believed he was owed for sex.
The murder of Stoffer is not the only instance that Mr. Burgess stabbed a man with whom he had
sexual relations. Shortly after the murder, Mr. Burgess stabbed another man in a very similar
incident. Again, Mr. Burgess claimed that the victim refused to pay him for sex and that he
became angry and attacked the victim with a knife. Fortunately, law enforcement caught Mr.
Burgess shortly after the attack and the victim survived. In 1975, Mr. Burgess was convicted of
manslaughter in Massachusetts. According to Mr. Burgess' statements at his 20 I 0 parole
consideration hearing, he stabbed to death a man he had been living with for approximately six
months and with whom he was having sexual relations.
While each of these gruesome attacks occuned many years ago, Mr. Burgess remains a threat to
commit violent crimes according his 2010 psychological evaluation. The psychologist
concluded that he scored in the "moderate" range for likelihood of violent recidivism, in the
"medium" range for likelihood of general recidivism, and that overall he posed a "moderate" risk
for violence in the free community. These findings were based, in pmi, on his acts of severe
violence at a young age, history of unstable relationships, alcohol and drug abuse, and lack of
resources for personal support. The psychologist also diagnosed Mr. Burgess with Antisocial
Personality Disorder, and found that he scored in the "moderate" range of the clinical construct
of psychopathy, both of which increase his likelihood of recidivism.
Further, the psychologist identified Mr. Burgess' prison misconduct as evidence of an impulse
control problem that increased the likelihood that he would commit a violent crime. His inability
to control his impulses has been a prevailing problem for Mr. Burgess. In discussing the murder
ofMr. Stoffer with the Board in 2010, he explained that he became angry when Mr. Stoffer
refused to pay him so he attacked him. He also discussed how similar fits of anger led to his
other violent crimes. While incarcerated, he was disciplined on five occasions for physical
altercations with other inmates, most recently in 2000, and was counseled in 2005 for refusing to
comply with institutional procedures for counting inmates. Mr. Burgess' inability to control his
impulses, both violent and otherwise, provides evidence of his inability to comply with the laws
of society if released from prison.
In sum, Mr. Burgess' extensive record of antisocial and extremely violent behavior creates
concern regarding his ability to refrain from future violent acts. His recent psychological
evaluation and record of institutional misconduct lead me to conclude that he is not yet capable
of controlling himself and poses a serious threat of committing future crimes.

David Burgess, C-26009
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3

CONCLUSION:
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Burgess is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole M1'. Burgess.

Decision Date: March 24, 2011
EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
VICTOR ZABALA, H-14351
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On September 27, 1989, Victor Zabala and a group offour friends were congregating in the
street outside his home. A friend of Zabala began shooting rounds into the air with Zabala's new
gun. Oscar Perez (Oscar) and his brothers, Jose Nicholas Perez (Nicholas) and Jose Amilcar
Perez (Amilcar), were across the street eating dinner and drinking beer outside of Oscar's
apartment along with Oscar's wife and children. Oscar heard the shot and told the man to stop
shooting, which led to a physical altercation between the two. After the altercation, Oscar
returned to the area outside his apartment to rejoin his family. A few minutes late, Zabala
returned and shot Oscar in the right shoulder. Zabala then shot Amilcar, killing him. As Oscar
turned around to escape, Zabala shot him in the back, paralyzing him from the waist down.
Zabala then shot Nicholas in the right knee. As Nicholas tried to run away, Zabala chased him
and shot him on the left side of his chest, causing serious injury. Shortly thereafter, Zabala
pointed the gun at Oscar and pulled the trigger twice, but the gun did not fire. Zabala then fled
the scene in a car.
GOVERNING LAW:
The question J must answer is whether Mr. Zabala will pose a current danger to the public if
released. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was before the Board
of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances of the crime can
provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the
inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and mental state,
indicate that the circumstances ofthe crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In re
Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 41h 1181, 1214.)
DECISION:
'111e Board found Mr. Zabala suitable for parole based on his remorse, lack of a juvenile criminal
record, acceptance of responsibility for the crime, participation in self-help programs, completion
of vocational training, prison job record, participation in education, realistic parole plans, good
recent institutional behavior, positive psychological evaluation, and reduced risk of recidivism
due to age.

Victor Zabala, H-143S1
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
I acknowledge Mr. Zabala has taken some positive steps while incarcerated. He obtained a
General Equivalency Diploma, participated in vocational training, and performed institutional
jobs. He also has participated in a number of self-help programs, including Alcoholics
Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Criminals and Gang Members Anonymous, and anger
management courses, amongst others. I commend Mr. Zabala for taking these positive steps.
But the circumstances of the commitment offense, along with other relevant evidence, show that
Mr. Zabala remains dangerous.
Mr. Zabala committed an especially senseless and heinous crime. He attacked an entire family,
shooting the three victims while other family members helplessly stood by. One brother died,
the other was paralyzed, and a third was severely injured due to his actions. Further, his motive
was very trivial in relation to the offense.
Mr. Zabala was an admitted drug dealer with prior convictions for possession of drugs for sale
and possession of a concealed weapon. His violent conduct did not stop when he entered prison.
In 1991, he was convicted of possessing a weapon in prison and given an additional prison
sentence. Then, in 200 I he was disciplined for committing battery on another inmate.
Mr. Zabala's willingness to repeatedly commit criminal acts despite the serious negative
consequences evidences an unwillingness and/or inability to refrain from violent criminal
conduct. Considering the atrocious nature of the commitment offense and Mr. Zabala's
extensive criminal actions over a period of decades, Mr. Zabala has not yet proven that he can
refrain from violent behavior for a long enough period to conclude that he is not a current danger
to society.
CONCLUSION:

I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Zabala is cunently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
cunently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Zabala.

Decision Date: March 25, 2011

JR.
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
NELSON GAMEZ, H-36619
First-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS:
On September 12, 1991, Martha Gamez was reported missing by her parents and her husband
Nelson Gamez, Mr. Gamez told investigators that he had dropped Mrs, Gamez off at a shopping
mall in Hayward and had not seen her since, Six days later investigators recovered blood stained
clothes from Mr. Gamez's car and apartment. Two days later, investigators determined that the
body of a woman found on top of a levee near Stockton was Mrs, Gamez, Near Mrs, Gamez's
body investigators found an ashtray subsequently linked to Mr. Gamez's car. Mrs, Gamez had
been beaten and stabbed 28 times on her neck, arms, hands, and ear.
Mr. Gamez was arrested on September 20, 1991, He admitted knowing his wife had been killed,
that her body had been dumped near Stockton, and that the blood stains found in his vehicle
would match hers, but denied that he killed her.

GOVERNING LAW:
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Gamez will pose a current danger to the public if
released, In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was before the Board
of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards, The circumstances of the crime can
provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the
inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and mental state,
indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness, (1n re
Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214,)
DECISION:
The Board found Mr. Gamez suitable for parole based on his acceptance of responsibility,
remorse, lack of institutional misconduct, participation in education and self-help programs,
completion of vocational training, realistic parole plans, positive psychological evaluation, and
reduced risk of recidivism due to age,
I acknowledge Mr. Gamez has taken some positive steps while incarcerated, He earned a
General Equivalency Diploma and completed vocational training in printing technology, He also
participated in self-help programs including Alcoholics Anonymous, Seeking Peaceful Solutions,
Cage Your Rage, Balanced Reentry Activity group, Anger Management, and the Impact

Nelson Gamez, H-36619
First-Degree Murdcr
Page 2
Program. I commend him for taking these positive steps. But the circumstances of the murder,
along with other relevant evidence, show that Mr. Gamez remains dangerous.
Mr. Gamez killed his wife in a particularly vicious manner. He showed an exceptionally callous
disregard for her suffering, stabbing her 28 times and then leaving her to suffer as she clung to
life for somewhere between 15 minutes and several hours after the attack, according to the
probation report. Meanwhile, Mr. Gamez reported her missing and concocted a story for her
parents and police. Further, he held a position of trust with Mrs. Gamez as her husband and the
father of her children, who were left without either parent to care for them.
Despite overwhelming evidence and many years of self-help programming in prison, Mr. Gamez
has still not acknowledged his role in the crime. Initially he denied any responsibility. In 2007
he told his psychological evaluator that he stabbed Mrs. Gamez three or four times with a small
knife and that the stab wounds were not deep. He also claimed that her body was found in a
different location than where he had left her and speculated that she must have walked some
distance after he left. He said that when Mrs. Gamez turned up missing and her parents became
concerned, he assumed she had run off with another man. In his 2010 psychological evaluation,
he said that after he stabbed her, she hit him with her purse and then he shoved her out of the car.
He said when he drove away she was standing and apologizing to him.
Mr. Gamez's account of the murder conflicts with the evidence of the crime and Mrs. Gamez's
wounds. She was stabbed 28 times, but Mr. Gamez only acknowledges stabbing her three or
four times. His story implies that someone else came along and stabbed her 24-25 additional
times. He even says that after he finished stabbing her, she hit him with her purse, and after he
shoved her out of the car, she was standing and apologizing to him. Given the evidence against
him, Mr. Gamez's story is utterly unbelievable. He continues to minimize his role in the murder,
and fails to accept responsibility for the full extent of his actions. Mr. Gamez is not required to
admit guilt to be found suitable for parole (Cal. Pen. Code § 5011). But I am not obligated to
accept his version of the crime as fact, and I do not. By minimizing his role in the crime and
refusing to accept responsibility, he shows that he lacks insight into why he committed the crime
and lacks remorse for his actions. His current mental state therefore indicates that he is still
prone to committing further acts of violence.
CONCLUSION:
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Gamez is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Gamez.

Decision Date: April 1, 2011
EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
TUNG NGUYEN, J-32S87
First-Deb'Tee Murder
AFFIRM:

x

MODIFY:
REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS:
Tuan Minh Truong and three other people were staying in a motel room in Garden Grove. In the
early morning hours. Tuan Truong had a heated telephone conversation with Khuong Vo about
money Tuan Truong owed Khuong Vo. At one point Tuan Truong asked Khuong Vo ifhe was
threatening to come to the motel and hurt him, he then called Khuong Vo a "chicken."
Khuong Vo drove to the motel with Tung Nguyen, Duc Truong, and Dung Nb>uyen. At KJmong
Vo's request, Dung Nguyen knocked on Tuan Truong's door and told the occupants he came to
visit them. When the door opened, Khuong Vo, Duc Truong, and Tung Nguyen, each armed
with a knife, rushed into the room. Khuong Vo pinned Tuan Truong on a bed and began hitting
him. Tung Nguyen held a knife to one of the other victims and remained near the window acting
as a lookout. Duc Truong ripped the telephone cord from the wall and turned off the lights.
Due Truong took a jacket, jewelry, and cash from the victims. At one point, Duc Truong
approached the bed and stabbed Tuan Truong in his thigh. The stab wound severed Tuan
Truong's femoral artery and he bled to death.
GOVERNING LA W:

The question I must answer is whether Mr. Nguyen is currently a danger to the public. In
answering this question, I must examine the same record that was before the Board of Parole
Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances of the crime can provide
evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the
inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and mental state,
indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In re
Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)

DECISION:
On November 3,2010, the Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Nguyen suitable for parole based
on his remorse, insight, educational advancement, vocational training, lack of disciplinary
infractions, participation in self-help prob'Tamming, adequate parole plans, and stable social

history. Upon finding Mr. Nguyen suitable for parole, the Board applied Title 15 of the
California Code of Regulations section 2403 as it deemed appropriate and detennined and
concluded that Mr. Nguyen should receiving a future release date of August 12,2023.
1 agree with the Board's deternlination that Mr. Nguyen no longer presents a threat to society if
released on parole. Mr. Nguyen's conduct and rehabilitation has been exceptional. In addition
to the factors mentioned above, Mr. Nb'llyen was commended by a correctional lieutenant in
2009 for his role in escorting a group of approximately 50 civilians to safety when they found
themselves on the prison yard during an inmate riot in 2006. The lieutenant made a point of
commending Mr. Nguyen for his courage in protecting the civilians in the face of possible
retaliation by rioting inmates, and concluded that this incident showed the "authentic change" in
his decision making that he had undergone since his incarceration.
While I do not downplay the seriousness ofMr. Nguyen crime, I note that it was Mr. Nguyen's
crime partners who initiated the confrontation that resulted in Tuan Truong's murder. Mr.
Nguyen did not participate in the assault and stabbing of Tuan Truong, and was not aware that
his crime partner intended to stab him. At the time, Mr. Nguyen was just 16 years old and was
influenced to participate in the crime by his adult crime partners. In fact Mr. Nguyen had a
relatively stable social history and had a minimal history of criminal behavior prior to the life
offense.
Further, Mr. Nguyen's 2010 psychological evaluation is highly supportive of parole. The
psychologist determined that Mr. Nguyen rated in "very low" for psychopathy, and that he posed
a "low" risk of violent recidivism, a "very low" risk of general recidivism, and overall he
presented a "very low" risk of violence in the free community.
For all ofthe reasons discussed by the Board and for those additional reasons mentioned above, I
agree with the Board's detennination that Mr. Nguyen does not currently pose an unreasonable
risk of danger to society. In this unique case, I believe Mr. Nguyen's exceptional rehabilitation
dictates that he should receive an immediate release on parole.
CONCLUSION:

The Board's decision shall be hereby modified so as to grant Mr. Nguyen an immediate release
on parole.

Decision Date: April 1, 2011
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
CHRIS MICHAEL FOWLER, C-96996
Second-def,'Tee murder

AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
In late 1983, Chris Fowler lived with his girlfriend, Tina Miller, and her two children, Aaron,
who was 22 months old, and Christy, who was three years old. On November I, 1983, Mr.
Fowler put both children down for an aftemoon nap and fell asleep. About 40 minutes later,
Christy woke Mr. Fowler up and told him Aaron was crying. Mr. Fowler went into Aaron's
bedroom and screamed at the child, "What is your problem?" He slapped Aaron with his open
hand knocking Aaron off the bed. Aaron went limp and his eyes had rolled back into his head.
Despite the fact that he had already seriously injured Aaron, Mr. Fowler picked Aaron up and
threw him to the floor again, causing Aaron to hit his head on the floor. He then picked Aaron
up and placed him in the tuh. Mr. Fowler calIed Tina and told her that Aaron was having an
asthmatic seizure. Tina calIed her mother. a nurse, who lived on the same property. Tina's
mother and sister arrived to find Christy crying hysterically and Fowler administering CPR to
Aaron. Tina's mother immediately took over giving CPR to Aaron. They then took Aaron to the
hospital. Aaron died two days later. The cause of Aaron's death was craniocerebral trauma.
Fowler smoked marijuana the moming of the life crime. He began smoking marijuana at age 14
and smoked on daily basis beginning at the age of 18.

GOVERNING LAW:
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Fowler will pose a current danger to the public if
released. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was before the Board
of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances of the crime can
provide evidence of CUITent dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the
inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's cunent demeanor and mental state,
indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of cunent dangerousness. (111 re
Lawrel1ce (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181,1214.) In rare circumstances, the agf,'Tavated nature of the
crime alone can provide a valid hasis for denying parole even when there is strong evidence of
rehabilitation and no other evidence of current dangerousness. (1d. at pp. 1211, 1214.)

Chris Michael Fowler, C-96996
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
DECISION:

1 acknowledge Mr. Fowler has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. In 2010, he
earned an Associate of Science Degree in Psychology from Ashworth College. He has received
vocational education and has earned state certification in Plant Agriculturist and Forest
Technician, a Pest Control License, and a Certificate of Educational Achievement in Radiologic
Technology Prob'Tam. Mr. Fowler has attended Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics
Anonymous meetings for several years. He has participated in several self-help programs
including: On Day At A Time; It Works When You Work It; Victim/Offender Learning Together
Program; Self-Reflection/Evaluation; Project Pride-Repent, Reach-out, Restore, and Rebuild
phases; Friends Outside Creative Conflict Resolution; Beyond Anger; Parenting; Anger
Management; Breaking Barriers; Violence Project-Non-Violence training; Basic and Advanced
Alternatives to Violence Project; and the KATARGEO "Going Home" program. Mr. Fowler has
volunteered in the Pastoral Care Services for tenninally ill patients. He has been a group leader
in the Arts in Corrections music program. He has participated in the Protestant Chapel
Conb'Tegation and was commended for his work as team leader in the Christ-centered ministry
Celebrate Recovery. Finally, he has held several institutional jobs. I commend Mr. Fowler for
taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he
remains unsuitable tor parole.
Mr. Fowler's crime was appalling and senseless. When asked to tend to baby Aaron who was
crying, Mr. Fowler responded by berating the child, then hitting him so hard he fell to the floor
and went limp. Even after seeing that he had seriously injured Aaron, Mr. Fowler kept attacking
the baby. He picked the limp baby up then threw him to the floor again, causing Aaron to hit his
head. The brutality ofMr. Fowler's assault caused baby Aaron to go into a seizure. He died two
days later from trauma to his skull and brain. Mr. Fowler chose to unleash his rage on the most
vulnerable and helpless of victims. Baby Aaron could not run from the attack. Nor could he
defend himself in any way. And Mr. Fowler attacked baby Aaron for inexplicable reasons.
When I look at this killing, I find that Mr. Fowler has offered no credible explanation. He says
that he was experiencing stress and anger in his relationship with Aaron's mother, and difficulty
in sleeping. So what. Any parent or person who cares for a baby encounters sleep difficulties as
a matter of course. And relationship-related stress and anger do not explain and certainly do not
justify Mr. Fowler's violation and killing of this defenseless child. The utter inhumanity ofMr.
Fowler's crime coupled with his inability or unwillingness to understand, own, or achieve some
credible level of insight tells me that there is substantial risk of danger to the public were he to be
released from prison.
Finally, in closing I note that several members of Aaron Miller's family, as well as the Yolo
County District Attomcy's Office, the Yolo County Sheriff, and the Woodland Police Chief
share my concem that Mr. Fowler remains dangerous, and oppose his parole.

Chris Michael Fowler, C-96996
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3
CONCLUSION:
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Fowler is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Fowler.

Decision Date: April 7,2011
GovemOf, State of Califomia

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
PAUL GUARDADO, E-36459
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS:
On February 24, 1979, Paul Guardado, Gabriel Ramirez, Vincent Orozco, Kim Arganda, Manuel
Ybarra, Corina Ribota, and Ralph Ponce gathered in a park. At about 10 p.m., Mr. Ybarra drove
Mr. Guardado, Mr. Orozco and Ms. Arganda to a nearby liquor store. On the way back, rear
passengers Mr. Guardado and Mr. Orozco asked for their handguns that were under the front
seats. Ms. Arganda and Mr. Ybarra passed them their guns. Mr. Guardado then suggested they
stop and assault people. Rather than stopping, the group retumed to the park.
Later, Steven Buus walked through the park wearing a hat. Ms. Ribota pointed him out to the
others, saying, "J want that hat." Some of the youths, including Mr. Guardado, Mr. Orozco and
Mr. Ramirez, ran to Buus and beat and kicked him. Then, Mr. Guardado, Mr. Orozco and others
encircled Mr. Buus while Mr. Ramirez kicked him some more. As Mr. Buus lay on the ground,
Ms. Ribota took Mr. Buus' hat, tried it on and then tossed it away.
After Ms. Ribota tumed away from the scene, she heard a gunshot. She looked back and saw
Mr. Guardado, Mr. Ramirez and Mr. Orozco standing over Mr. Buus. Mr. Guardado was
holding a gun and Mr. Buus was begging for his life. Mr. Ramirez then pulled a sawed-off
shotgun from beneath his coat and shot Mr. Buus in the chest.

GOVERNING LAW:
The question J must answer is whether Mr. Guardado is currently a danger to the public. In
answering this question, I must examine the same record that was before the Board of Parole
Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances of the crime can provide
evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the
inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and mental state,
indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (1n re
Lawrence (2008) 44 CaL 4th 1181,1214.)

Paul Guardado, E-36459
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND:
On June 23, 2009, the Board granted Mr. Guardado parole because it had been compelled to do
so by a federal court order. On July 21, 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger reversed the Board's
court-compelled parole grant, and Mr. Guardado challenged the Governor's decision in Orange
County Superior Court, On February 9, 2011, the superior court overturned Governor
Schwarzenegger's reversal and remanded the case to me for reconsideration,
While the litigation was going on, the Board held another parole consideration hearing on May
25, 2010, This time, the Board was not under the compulsion of a court order to grant Mr.
Guardado parole, After a full hearing in which it carefully considered and weighed the evidence,
the Board detennined that Mr. Guardado remains a threat to society, and denied him parole,
DECISION:
I acknowledge Mr. Guardado has taken some positive steps while incarcerated, He took college
courses and earned a paralegal certificate, participated in vocational training, and perfonned
institutional jobs, He also has participated in a number of self-help programs, including
Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Friends Outside Parenting Program, IMPACT
self-help group, Millati lsi ami Addiction Recovery Program, Anger Management, Fathers
Behind Bars Group, Healing for the Angry Heart, Balanced Reentry Activity Group, Cage Your
Rage, Power of Prayer, Alternatives to Violence, Community Workshop, Stereotyping and
Racism, Coastline Community College Incarcerated Student Education Program, Hands of
Peace, Creative Conflict Resolution, and Kairos Prison Ministry, I commend him for taking
these positive steps, But I a!,'fee with the Board that Mr. Guardado remains dangerous,
Mr. Guardado's committed the murder in a vicious and cruel manner. He and his crime partners
chased down Mr. Buus, beat and kicked him, and then shot him mUltiple times, After shooting
him twice, they made him beg for his life as he lay paralyzed on the ground before ultimately
firing the fatal third shot. Mr. Guardado's despicable actions evidence an exceptionally callous
disregard for the suffering of others, Further, his motive was inexplicable as neither he nor his
crime partners knew Mr. Buus, and they had no reason whatsoever to attack him,
Mr. Guardado still does not acknowledge his role in the crime, In his most recent version of the
facts as stated in his 2009 Life Prisoner Evaluation Report, Mr. Guardado claimed he did not
participate in the beating ofMr. Buus, that he was merely watching, and that it was Mr. Ponce
who shot Mr. Buus twice before Mr. Ramirez fired the fatal shotgun blast. But Mr. Guardado's
version is inconsistent with the official record, Both the 1991 and 1997 Court of Appeal
opinions indicate that Mr. Guardado beat Mr. Buus prior to the shooting, Additionally, an
eyewitness to the crime said she heard a gunshot and saw Guardado standing over Buus holding
a gun, Also, two different juries found Guardado guilty of murder and deternlined that he
personally used a firearnl during the offense,
Mr. Guardado is not required to admit guilt to be found suitable for parole (CaL Pen, Code §
5011), But I am not obligated to accept his version of the crime as fact, and I do not. The

Paul Guardado, E-36459
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3
overwhelming evidence in the record indicates that Mr. Guardado actively participated in the
beating ofMr. Buus and that he shot him. By minimizing his role in the crime and refusing to
accept responsibility, he shows that he lacks insight into why he committed the crime.
Further, at his May 2010 parole consideration hearing, the Board found Mr. Guardado's claims
of remorse not credible. The Board determined that he was saying what he thought the Board
wanted to hear and not speaking "from the heart." The Board described Mr. Guardado's
demeanor while discussing his remorse for the crime as "sterile." I cannot discount the Board's
credibility determination, and I agree with its conclusion that Mr. Guardado lacks remorse and
insight, and minimizes his role in the crime.
Mr. Guardado's failure to understand the reasons for his violent conduct or to show genuine
remorse for his victims indicates that he is still prone to committing further acts of violence.

CONCLUSION:
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Guardado is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Guardado.

Decision Date: April 15,2011

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
WILLIAM GRAY, D-61651
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On June 29, 1985, William Gray hosted a barbeque at his ranch. In attendance were a number of
friends and their families, as wel1 as his girlfriend Michel1e Martino, and his 13-year-old son
Matthew. Alcoholic beverages were served throughout the day. Shortly before dinner, Mr. Gray
and Ms. Martino had an argument over her refusal to al10w Matthew to drive her father's Jeep to
go target shooting. During the argument, Mr. Gray pushed Ms. Martino and she bit him. Ms.
Martino told Mr. Gray to pack his bags and leave. He left the group and went into the house and
the group proceeded to eat dinner without him.
At around 8:00 p.m., Ms. Martino went inside the house. The sound of shattering glass could be
heard inside the house and Ms. Martino came back outside with Mr. Gray behind her carrying a
semi-automatic rifle. Mr. Gray shot Ms. Martino multiple times in the back. He then stood over
her as she lay on the stairs of the house and shot her two more times. He then proceeded to shoot
in the direction of the other guests. One bul1et struck his friend Shawna Shannon. Another
struck his son Matthew. A third grazed another friend, Clifford Sartor. Immediately after the
shooting, Mr. Gray drove away with the rifle.
Ms. Martino died as a result of the shooting. Ms. Shannon and Mathew sustained serious
injuries but survived. Mr. Sartor suffered minor injuries. At around 9:30 p.m., Mr. Gray turned
himself in to authorities. Shortly after midnight, a blood sample was drawn and Mr. Gray's
blood alcohol content was determined to be 0.12%.

GOVERNING LAW:
The question I must answer is wbether Mr. Gray will pose a current danger to the public if
released. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was before the Board
of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances of the crime can
provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the
inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and mental state,
indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In re
Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4[1; 1181, 1214.)

William Gray, D-6 I 651
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
DECISION:

The Board found Mr. Gray suitable for parole based on his acceptance of responsibility,
expression of remorse, insight into the causes of the crime, job perfonnance, participation in selfhelp, favorable psychological evaluations, realistic parole plans, lack of assaultive behavior or
significant criminal history, and reduced risk of recidivism due to age,
Mr. Gray has taken some positive steps while incarcerated, He held a number of institutional
jobs for which he received positive job performance ratings, His participation in self-help
programs has been limited, He attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings from 1990 until 1995,
In 1992, he participated in the Rational-Emotive Therapy video program, where he watched
videos regarding topics such as shame, anger, perfectionism, understanding, anxiety, and
depression, He also participated in a I O-hour Ethics Workshop in 199 1, I commend Mr. Gray
for taking some positive steps. But these positive steps are fairly minor considering the
circumstances of the commitment offense, as well as other factors, which indicate that Mr. Gray
remains dangerous.
Mr. Gray shot multiple loved-ones for exceedingly trivial reasons. He then callously fled while
his girlfriend lay dead and his son and friends suffered from bullet wounds inflicted by his
military-style rifle. The horror that all of those in attendance at the barbeque suffered is very
troubling. Only a severely disturbed and dangerous person could commit such a crime,
Mr. Gray identified rage and alcohol abuse as the factors that caused him to commit the crime.
But his efforts to address these issues through self-help programs have been extremely limited.
In 2005, the Board implored him to participate in substance abuse and anger management selfhelp programs. He has stubbornly refused to do any self-help, telling the Board in 2010 "I've
done those before .... And I feel comfortable those don't plague me anymore." A Board
psychologist disagreed, stating in Mr. Gray's 2008 psychological evaluation that his refusal to
participate in a substance abuse program increases his risk of violence in the community and
noting that the Mr. Gray "does not recognize that these programs [Alcoholics Anonymous and
Narcotics Anonymous] should be a lifetime commitment." Mr. Gray's inadequate efforts to
address his alcohol and anger problems and his resistance towards treatment create great concern
that he is still capable of horrific violence.
Further, Mr. Gray's 2008 psychological evaluation contains alarming information, The
psychologist noted that Mr. Gray presented as glib and showed a lack of remorse for his crime.
The psychologist noted that Mr. Gray smiled as he discussed the crime, When asked why he was
smiling, he responded "[b ]ecause I feel ridiculous." The psychologist noted that Mr. Gray's
"affect did not seem appropriate to the discussion of the crime or to any embarrassment." Mr.
Gray's demeanor left an impression on the psychologist who noted that in all his years of
evaluating inmates he had never observed an inmate smiling when describing his crime. The
psychologist concluded that Mr. Gray's attitude toward the crime increased his risk factor for
violence in the free community,
,
In sum, Mr. Gray's inability or unwillingness to convincingly cxplain what led to his shooting
spree that caused death and so much suffering indicates to me that he remains dangerous.

William Gray, D-61651
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3

CONCLUSION:
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Gray is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Gray.

Decision Date: April 15,2011
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
EDWARD ESTRADA, H-73454
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
Edward Estrada attended a house party with a number of fellow gang members. At .about 10: 15
p.m., he left the party with his brother Roman and David Soliz in a car driven by Roman's
girlfiiend, Pamela Casey. Shortly after leaving the party, Ms. Casey pulled up next to Richard
Gill at a traffic light. Mr. Gill, who was driving a pick-up truck, had gone to the house party to
pick-up his fiiend, Robert Guzman. But Mr. Gill's father, Solomon Gill, had arrived at the house
just before Mr. Gill and had picked up Mr. Guzman in his car. While stopped at the traffic light,
Mr. Estrada, Roman Estrada and Mr. Soliz flashed gang signs at Mr. Gill. Mr. Estrada claims
that Mr. Gill responded by sticking up his middle finger.
As the light turned green, the three men instructed Ms. Casey to chase after Mr. Gill. Mr.
Estrada sat in the back seat ofa car. They chased Mr. Gill's truck on the freeway. Ms. Casey
pulled her car alongside the truck and Mr. Estrada fired a shotgun at Mr. Gill. Mr. Gill ducked
his head down. When he came back up, Mr. Estrada fired a second shot at him which hit him in
the head and caused the truck to crash. Solomon Gill, who was driving behind him, took Mr.
Gill to hospital but he died the next day.
GOVERNING LAW:
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Estrada will pose a current danger to the public if
released. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was before the Board
of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances of the crime can
provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the
inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and mental state,
indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In re
Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)
DECISION:
In September 2010, the California Court of Appeal overturned the Board's 2009 decision that
Mr. Estrada was not suitable for parole. The court directed the Board to conduct a new hearing
in accordance with its order. In compliance with the court's order, the Board conducted another
hearing in November 20 I 0, and found Mr. Estrada suitable for parole based on his vocational
and educational upgrades, job performance, participation in self-help, favorable psychological
evaluations, and parole plans.

Edward Estrada, H -73454
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2

Mr. Estrada has taken some positive steps while incarcerated. He completed vocational training
in Machine Shop and Office Services and Related Technologies, and held a number of
institutional jobs for which he received positive job performance ratings. He also participated in
a number of self-help programs including Alcoholics Anonymous, Personal Growth Seminars,
Alternative to Violence Project, Anger Management, Dependency Counseling, Victim
Awareness course, Criminals and Gang members Anonymous, Victim Offender Education
Group, Cage Your Rage, Self Discipline and Emotional Control, Principle Centered Living,
Stress Management, Nonviolent Communication training, and psychiatric group therapy. I
commend Mr. Estrada for taking these positive steps. But the circumstances of the commitment
offense, along with other relevant evidence, show that Mr. Estrada remains dangerous.
Mr. Estrada committed a completely senseless murder. He and his fellow gang members
antagonized Mr. Gill, who they did not know, and chased him down. When they caught up with
him, Mr. Estrada shot him in the head with a shotgun. Mr. Estrada's motive for committing such
a vicious crime is inexplicable.
Yet, Mr. Estrada claims that he shot and killed Mr. Gill out of concern for his safety and the
safety of the other passengers in his car. He said in 2009 that he fired at Mr. Gill because he
believed Mr. Gill had a gun and "was going to fire at us." This is essentially the same story he
gave at his trial. According to the 1998 appellate court decision, Mr. Estrada testified at trial that
he saw Mr. Gill point what looked like a pistol at the car he was riding in and that he then shot at
Mr. Gill because he felt they were in danger. But the evidence shows that Mr. Gill did not have
a gun. During her testimony at trial, Ms. Casey did not indicate that Mr. Gill pointed a gun at her
car or that anyone in her car expressed concern that Mr. Gill might fire at them. She testified
that after the confrontation at the stop light, the three men instructed her to catch up with Mr. Gill
and that when she did, she heard a gunshot fired from the seat behind her where Mr. Estrada was
sitting. She was instructed to keep up with Mr. Gill's truck and then she heard another shot fired
by Mr. Estrada. Mr. Gill's father told police that be saw Ms. Casey's car chase after Mr. Gill's
truck and fire a shot at the truck. He saw his son duck down after the first shot. He then saw his
son stick his head up at which time he saw the flash of a second shot being fired from Ms.
Casey's car.
The record does not support Mr. Estrada's version of the crime and I do not accept his version as
fact. While Mr. Estrada claims to accept responsibility for murdering Mr. Gill, he clings to his
story that he thought Mr. Gill had a gun and that he shot him out of fear and in self-defense. In
sticking to his story, Mr. Estrada places blame on the victim and minimizes his own conduct.
Until he accepts responsibility for his actions, and confronts and deals with the reasons he
committed such a senseless, unprovoked, and vicious murder, Mr. Estrada remains a threat to
public safety if released from prison.
I also give credence to the statements ofM1'. Gill's family members at Mr. Estrada's 2010 parole
hearing. Mr. Gill's father, Solomon Gill, described his horror in witnessing the murder of his
son. He stated that unlike Mr. Estrada, his son was not a gang member, and did not point a gun
at Mr. Estrada or egg Mr. Estrada on. Mr. Gill stated that Mr. Estrada dishonors his son by

Edward Estrada, H-73454
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3
continuing to claim that his son provoked the attack. He indicated that he would continue to
oppose parole as long as Mr. Estrada refuses to tell the truth about what happened.
Mr. Gill's mother, Yolanda Bella, also gave a statement. She expressed fear of having Mr.
Estrada return to the community where they live, saying "1 do not want to live with the fear of
him getting out, looking over our shoulder ... stopping at a stop light and wondering, is that
him?" She also stated her belief that Mr. Estrada was not truly remorseful for killing her son.
CONCLUSION:
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Estrada is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence J have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, J reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Estrada.

Decision Date: April 28, 20 II
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
BERTWANE COLE, E-22785
First-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
Be11wane Cole and Marcus Brown were members of the Graveyard Crips street gang. On the
evening of the murder, Mr. Brown was driving his car with Mr. Cole in the front passenger seat
and Brown's girlfriend, Elizabeth Periman Brown, in the back seat. Mr. Brown spotted Robert
Williams, James Scott and Cain Davis near an apartment building, and identified them as
associates of the Venice Shoreline Crips, a rival street gang. He stopped the car and Mr. Cole
questioned the men about their gang affiliation. Mr. Scott indicated that he was not interested in
a confrontation. Mr. Cole and Mr. Brown began insulting the three men. Mr. Cole then told Mr.
Davis, who he had known during their childhood, to move out of the way. Mr. Williams and Mr.
Scott started to run away. Mr. Cole pulled out a gun and fired about five shots at Mr. Williams
and Mr. Scott. One bullet hit Mr. Williams in the head and killed him. Luckily, Mr. Scott was
not hit.
A jury convicted Mr. Cole of one count of first degree murder and one count of attempted
murder, and sentenced him to an indeterminate tenn of 30 years to life in prison.
GOVERNING LAW:
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Cole is cUlTently a danger to the pUblic. In answering
this question, I must examine the same record that was before the Board of Parole Hearings and
adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances of the crime can provide evidence of
cunent dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the inmate's pre- or
post-incarceration history, or the imllate's current demeanor and mental state, indicate that the
circnmstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008)
44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)
DECISION:
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Cole suitable for parole based on his expression of
remorse, insight into the crime, acceptance of responsibility, participation in self-help programs
and vocational training, positive institutional work record, and realistic parole plans.

Bertwane Cole, E-22785
First-Degree Murder
Page 2
I acknowledge Mr. Cole has made laudable gains while incarcerated. He completed vocational
training in mUltiple disciplines and held a number of institutional jobs for which he received
positive job perfomlance ratings. He also participated in a number of self-help programs
including Narcotics Anonymous, Seeking Peaceful Solutions, Cage Your Rage, Altematives to
Violence Project, Anger Management, the Inside Ont Dad parenting course, Balanced Re-entry
Awareness Group, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder seminar, and Criminal and Gang Members
Anonymous. I commend him for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by
negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
The murder of Mr. Williams and attempted murder of Mr. Scott were vicious and senseless. Mr.
Cole attacked these two men, recklessly firing five rounds at them in the middle of an urban area
as they attempted to run away. He shot and killed Mr. Williams because of his perceived
affiliation with a rival gang, a very trivial motive in light of the offense.
Mr. Cole's most recent psychological evaluation indicates that he is not yet ready to retum to the
free community. In 2010 a psychologist determined that Mr. Cole scored in the "moderate"
range for psychopathy, in the "moderate" range for likelihood of violent recidivism, in the
"medium" range for risk of general recidivism, and that overall he posed a "moderate" risk of
committing violence in the community. Mr. Cole's elevated risk assessment scores were in large
part the result of his past gang affiliation and extensive criminal background, unstable social
history, and present lack of insight. In discussing Mr. Cole's lack of insight, the psychologist
noted that he displayed limited insight into his motive for firing his weapon, showed minimal
insight into his need to impress or prove himself to his fellow gang members, and displayed
minimal insight into his failure to develop empathy for others as a youth. Until Mr. Cole gains a
better understanding of what caused him to commit these vicious crimes, he will remain a threat
to public safety if released from prison.
CONCLUSION:
I have considered the record and the criteria for assessing Mr. Cole's suitability for parole. I find
that the negative factors I have discussed demonstrate why he poses a current danger to society if
released fi'om prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr. Cole.

Decision Date: April 29, 2011

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)

DEMETRIUS DUCKSWORTH, J-6842S
Second-degree murder

AFFIRM:
MODIFY:
REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
Demetrius DucksWOlih and his crime partner, Tina Johnson, decided to rob William Lathen. Mr.
Lathen had sold Ms. Johnson drugs in the past so she knew he kept money and dmgs at his
residence. At approximately 2:00 a.m., Ms. Johnson went to Mr. Lathen's apartment under the
guise of purchasing dmgs. When Mr. Lathen opened the door, Mr. Ducksworth mshed in
brandishing a hand gun. Mr. Ducksworth tried to grab a pouch Mr. Lathen wore around his waist
which contained money and dmgs. Mr. Lathen grabbed Mr. DucksWOlih's arm and they
struggled. Mr. Ducksworth fired his gun several times. One bullet hit Mr. Lathen in the head and
killed him.

GOVERNING LAW:
Thc question I must answer is whether Mr. Ducksworth will pose a current danger to the public
if released. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was before the
Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances of the
crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the irunate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the irunate's CUlTent demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)

DECISION:
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Ducksworth suitable for parole based on his expression
of remorse, educational achievements, acceptance of responsibility, insight into the crime,
vocational training, parole plans, and participation in self-help programs.
Mr. Duckswoth has taken some positive steps while incarcerated. He eamed a General
Equivalency Diploma and has taken a number of college courses. He obtained vocational
training in welding and upholstery, and held a number of institutional jobs. He also participated
in some self-help programs including Anger Management, Friends on the Outside Parenting
course, the Passport to Purpose Program, Project PRIDE's Mallaging Conflict and Dealing with
Difficult People course, a stress management program, and Life Plan for Recovery. I commend
Mr. Ducksworth for taking these positive steps. But the circumstances of the commitment
offense, along with other relevant evidence, show that he remains dangerous.

Demetrius Ducksworth J-68425
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2

Mr. Ducksworth committed a heinous murder. He conspired to rob Mr. Lathen and when Mr.
Lathen resisted he shot and killed him. His sole motive for committing the crime was greed. In
2004, the judge who presided over Mr. Ducksworth trial submitted a letter opposing parole
noting that "the victim was unanned and vnlnerable. He was chased throughout the residence
and shot one time in the head."
Mr. Ducksworth also has not availed himself sufficiently of self-help programs to address his
alcohol and drug abuse problems. He has only participated in Alcoholics and Narcotics
Anonymous sporadically, and for short periods of time (1998 and 2006 only). Given his history
of substance abuse, his participation in programming to address this issue has not been sufficient
to ensure that he will not fall back into abusing drugs and alcohol if released from prison.
Mr. Ducksworth's most recent risk assessment scores also indicate that he remains dangerous.
Mr. Ducksworth scored in the "moderate" range for psychopathy, rated in the "moderate"
category for a risk of violent recidivism and overall he posed a "moderate" risk of violence in the
free community. According to the psychologist, Mr. Ducksworth's elevated risk for violent
recidivism is based on factors such as his history of violent behavior, relationship instability, lack
oflawful employment, lack offeasible parole plans, and history of substance abuse. The
psychologist also noted that Mr. Ducksworth possesses a narcissistic thought pattem and a
grandiose sense of self-worth. He psychologist concluded Mr. Ducksworth could achieve greater
insight through additional self-help activities.
CONCLUSION:

I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Ducksworth is
currently dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows
why he currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the
decision to parole Mr. Ducksworth.

Decision Date: April 29, 2011
Govemor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
DANIEL GONZALES, J-67167
Second-degree murder

AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE;

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On May 13, 1994, Daniel Gonzales went to a liquor store with his younger brother, David, and
fellow gang members Dallas McCoy, Desmond Ned, and Yesenia Soto. When exiting the store,
David Gonzales, McCoy and Ned exchanged glances with a group of four men, which included
Mario Gonzalez.
When they retumed to the car, David Gonzales made a gang sign with his hands in the direction
of Mario Gonzalez. A confrontation ensued between the two men. While this was going on, Mr.
Gonzales !,rrabbed a handgun and started to get out of the car. Mario Gonzalez stepped toward
the door and a stlUggle ensued between Mr. Gonzales and Mario over the gun. During the
struggle, Mr. Gonzales fired two shots at Mario. As the struggle continued, Mr. McCoy got out
of the car with a gun and began firing at Mario. Mario fell to the gtOund and Mr. Gonzales was
able to regain control of his gun. He then fired three shots at Mario as he lay on the ground.
Mario died as a result of the shooting. Gonzales and the others got into the car and drove away.

GOVERNING LAW:
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Gonzales will pose a current danger to the public if
released. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was before the Board
of PatOle Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances of the crime can
provide evidence of current dangetOusness when the record also establishes that something in the
inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the irunate's current demeanor and mental state,
indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangetOusness. (1n re
Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181,1214.)

DECISION:
The Board of PatOle Hearings found Mr. Gonzales suitable for parole based on his insight,
expression of remorse, positive mental state, participation in self-help programs, educational and
vocational training, and solid patOle plans.
I acknowledge Mr. Gonzales has made laudable gains while incarcerated. He eamed a General
Equivalency Diploma and completed vocational training. He also pm1icipated in a number of
self-help programs including Alcoholics Anonymous, Inlpulse Control Workshop, Altematives
to Violence Project, Nonviolent Conflict Resolution, Bible Principles for Fomler/lnactive Gang

Daniel Gonzales, J -67167
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
Members, and Anger Management, amongst others. I commend him for taking these positive
steps. But they are outweighed by negative factors thaI demonstrate he remains unsuitable for
parole.
Mr. Gonzales brutally attacked the victim, shooling him multiple times as he lay on the ground.
The motive for the murder was very trivial and was the result of a senseless confrontation.
Despite the gains Mr. Gonzales has made while incarcerated, his most recent psychological
evaluation indicates that he remains a threat to the community. The risk assessments from Mr.
Gonzales 2009 psychological evaluation indicated that he posed a "moderate" risk of violent
recidivism and a "medium" risk of general recidivism. Factors that contributed to Mr. Gonzales'
elevated risk assessment ratings included his history of substance abuse, extensive criminal
record, and current impulsivity. The psychologist cited Mr. Gonzales four Rules Violation
Reports, all of which occurred between May of2003 and June of2004, as evidence ofMr.
Gonzales' impulsivity. Mr. Gonzales also was counseled as recently as 2008 for arguing with
staff and acting in a hostile and threatening manner. The psychologist also diagnosed Mr.
Gonzales with Antisocial Personality Disorder, which increases his risk of violent recidivism.
Further, confidential infonnation in Mr. Gonzales' prison file indicates that as recently as 2006
he has been involved in prison gang activity and drug smuggling operations. This evidence
provides further support for my conclusion that Mr. Gonzales remains a threat to society if
released from prison.
CONCLUSION:
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Gonzales is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Gonzales.

Decision Date: April 29, 2011

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
SAMUEL DELOZIER, C-65012
Second-degree murder

AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On the evening of December 5, 1981, Samuel DeLozier went to the home of Harold Carstens to
collect money he owed him. When Mr. Carstens refused to pay, Mr. DeLozier took Mr. Carstens
guns out of his closet. He told Mr. Carstens he intended to pawn the guns and that he would
return them when Mr. Carstens paid him the money he owed him. \\Then Mr. Carstens attempted
to stop him from leaving with the guns, Mr. DeLozier punched him twice, knocking him down.
Mr. DeLozier then grabbed a pistol and shot Mr. Carstens twice in the back of the head and once
in the back of the neck. Mr. Carstens died as a result of the shooting. Mr. DeLozier dumped Mr.
Carstens' body down a nearby well. He then loaded up Mr. Carstens car with a number of Mr.
Carstens belongings and left.
A jury convicted Mr. DeLozier of second-de!,,'Tee murder with an enhancement for use of a
fiream1. The coun sentenced him to 17 years to life in prison. The appellate court upheld the
convict jon.

GOVERNING LAW:
The question I must answer is whether Mr. DeLozier is currently a danger to the public. In
answering this question, I must examine the same record that was before the Board of Parole
Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances of the crime can provide
evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the
inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and mental state,
indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In re
Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)

DECISION:
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. DeLozier suitable for parole based on his expression of
remorse, insigh1 into the crime, lack ofins1i1utional misconduct participation in se1f:help
programs, cOlllpletion of vocational training, positive institutional work record, realistic parole
plans, and reduced risk of recidivism due to age.

Samuel DeLozier. C-650 12
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
I acknowledge ML Delozier has made laudable gains while incarcerated. He completed
vocational training and held a number of institutional jobs for which he received positive job
performance ratings. He also participated in a number of self-help programs including
Alcoholics Anon)11lous, the RAPHA and PRlDE substance abuse treatment programs, Cage
Your Rage, Personal Growth Seminars, Self-Esteem and Assertiveness Training, Stress
Management and Relaxation Skills Training, Rational Behavior Training, Anger Control Group,
individual and group therapy, Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program, and Men's
Accountability Group, amongst others. I commend him for taking these positive steps. But they
are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Delozier murdered the victim in a cold and brutal maImer. He beat the 64-year old man and
then shot him three times as he lay face down on the ground. He then callously dumped his body
down a well and took ML Carsten's possessions. Further, Mr. DeLozier's motive--obtaining
money from Mr. Carstens-was very trivial in relation to the offense.
Despite many years of incarceration and numerous self-help courses, Mr. DeLozier still exhibits
a lack of insight by not accepting responsibility for his actions. He told the Board in 201 0 that
Mr. Carstens initiated the physical confrontation by knocking him down and claimed that Mr.
Carstens had a gun in his hand. He told the Board that when he saw Mr. Carstens with the gun "I
rushed him .. I hit him with the b"Un and I shot him in the process." But during his 2010
psychological evaluation, Mr. Delozier said that Mr. Carstens knocked him down and that he
then got up and knocked Mr. Carstens down and came back with a gun and "I started to hit him
upside the head with the gun and this is when I shot him." He maintained that he did not intend
to kill the victim and that he shot him two more times because "I saw he was suffering."
Mr. DeLozier's story conflicts with the appellate court opinion, which indicates the Mr.
DeLozier attacked Mr. Carstens and not the other way around. The official record shows that
Mr. Carstens was shot in the back of the head while lying on his stomach, not during the course
of a struggle. Mr. DeLozier's claim that he mercifully fired the last two shots hecause Mr.
Carstens was suffering is also inconsistent with the court's opinion. Further, Mr. DeLozier's
contradicts himself as to whether Mr. Carstens had the gun at any point during the crime. In
sum, the record does not support Mr. Delozier's version of the crime and I do not accept his
versions of what transpired. Until he accepts responsibility for his actions, and obtains greater
insight into the reasons he committed this senseless and brutal murder, Mr. Delozier remains a
threat to public safety if released from prison.
My concern that Mr. Delozier remains dangerous is supported hy the risk assessment scores in
his 2010 psychological evaluation. The psychologist deternlined that he scored in the
"moderate" range for likelihood of violent recidivism, in the "medium" range for risk of general
recidivism, and that overall he posed a "moderate" risk of committing violence in the
community. Mr. DeLozier's elevated risk assessment scores were mainly the result of his
extensive criminal record, which included a prior conviction for manslaughter, unstable social
history, past substance ahuse, present lack of insight and inadequate parole plans. The
psychologist concluded that Mr. DeLozier could reduce his risk of violent recidivism by

Samuel Delozier, C-65012
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3
accepting full responsibility for his crimes without justifying or minimizing his behavior, and
examining his impact on the surviving victims of his crimes.

CONCLUSION:
1 have considered the record and the criteria for assessing Mr. DeLozier's suitability for parole.
find that the negative factors I have discussed demonstrate why he poses a current danger to
society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr. DeLozier.

Decision Date: May 5, 2011
EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
ROBERT BERTOLA, D-26869
First-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
Angel Marin approached Robert Berto1a outside a liquor store and asked him to buy him alcohol.
Mr. Berto1a refused and a confrontation ensued. Mr. Marin punched Mr. Berto1a above his eye,
causing a wound. The confrontation then ended when Mr. Berto1a produced a knife and Mr.
Marin declined to fight. Mr. Marin and his group of friends, and Mr. Berto1a and his group of
friends remained in the area, walking up and down the street in downtown San Jose for about an
hour. During this time, the two groups encountered each other again and traded insults. Mr.
Marin and his friends ended up sitting on the stairs of a hotel and drinking alcohol. Meanwhile,
Mr. Berto1a called an unidentified person who brought him a gun. Mr. Berto1a then sought out
Mr. Marin, found him outside the hotel, and shot him five times. Mr. Marin died as a result of
the shooting.

GOVERNING LAW:
The question 1 must answer is whether Mr. Berto1a will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (1n re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181,1214.)

DECISION:
The Board of Parole Hearing found Mr. Berto1a suitable for parole based on his expression of
remorse, acceptance of responsibility, participation in Alcoholics Anonymous, educational and
vocational upgrades, insight, positive behavioral record in recent years, realistic parole plans, and
reduced likelihood of recidivism due to age.
I acknowledge Mr. Bertola has made some efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He
eamed a General Equivalency Diploma, completed multiple vocational training programs. and
held a number of work assignments. He also has participated in Alcoholics Anonymous
consistently since 2007 and in the Victim Recognition program. I commend Mr. Berto1a for

Robert Bertola,
First-Degree Murder
Page 2
taking these positive steps, But they are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he
remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Bertola committed a calculated, premeditated murder for an exceedingly trivial reason.
While Mr. Marin may have been the initial aggressor, the prior conflict had ended by the time
Mr. Bertola went to the extreme measure of calling someone to bring him a gun. Mr. Bertola
then sought out Mr. Marin and callously shot him several times and left him for dead.
To this day, Mr. Bertola insists that he does not remember most of the events on the night of the
murder, including obtaining the gun, the identity of his accomplice, seeking out Mr. Marin,
shooting Mr. Marin, and what happened to the murder weapon after the shooting. He claims that
he was under the influence of PCP and alcohol, and that he suffered a drug and alcohol induced
black out. But a blood sample taken on the night of the murder after he was arrested revealed a
blood alcohol level of 0.05% and less than 0.01 parts per million of PCP. Further, as pointed out
in the probation report, "[h lis state of intoxication and level of consciousness is questionable ...
Even assuming his intoxication, he was able to purposely call 'back up,' obtain a gun, seek out
the victim, then shoot him at close range."
Mr. Bertola's alleged lack of memory is highly suspect. He avoids admitting the true nature of
his offense and accepting complete responsibility for his actions by claiming lack of memory,
essentially absolving his conscious self of wrongdoing.
He also fails to accept responsibility for his actions by blaming Mr. Marin, in large part, for the
murder. During his 2008 evaluation he told the psychologist that they both were to blame for the
murder and that "(h)is death is my fault, but it would have never happened ifhe had not
approached me." What Mr. Bertola apparently fails to recognize is that the murder also would
not have happened if he had not obtained a gun, sought out Mr. Marin, and shot him.
Highly relevant to Mr. Bertola's lack of insight and failure to accept responsibility is his
inadequate participation in self-help and therapeutic programming during his 26-plus years of
incarceration despite being instructed by the Board during previous hearings to participate in
self-help programs. During his most recent psychological evaluation in 2008, Mr. Bertola
focused exclusively on his drug and alcohol problem in discussing the causative factors that led
to the crime. While undoubtedly alcohol and drugs played a role in the crime, certainly other
factors contributed to him committing a premeditated murder of a stranger as the result of a
relatively minor confrontation. Through self-help programs, Mr. Bertola would obtain much
greater understanding of himself and what led him to commit the crime so that he could avoid a
similar incident in the future.
In sum, Mr. Bertola has made insufficient efforts to understand and address the reasons that
caused him to commit murder. This is apparent from the statements he makes and his
unwillin!,'I1ess to discuss the crime in any detail. His lack of insight leads me to conclude that he
is susceptible to committing similar acts of violence in the future and would pose an
unreasonable danger to society if released from prison.

Robert Bertola,
First-Degree Murder
Page 3

CONCLUSION:
1 have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Bertola is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Bertola.

Decision Date: June 3, 2011

INDETER1VII'iATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
JAMES MARVIN, C-39344
First-degree murder
AFFIRJVI:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS

On July 19, 1980, James Marvin, Joe Aguirre, Laurie Aguin'e, Brian Miller, James Garwood,
Michael Pert, and Stephen Ciccone were at the Aguirres' home drinking alcohol and ingesting
Quaaludes. Mr. Ciccone slapped a teenage girl who was visiting the Aguirre home. Mr. Marvin
claimed that My. Ciccone was also pointing a gun at people in the home. He added that, when he
told Mr. Ciccone to "calm down," Mr. Ciccone punched him. Mr. Marvin later told the others
that M1'. Ciccone had "gone crazy" and stated "Steve has got to die." Mr. Aguirre, M1'. Marvin
and the others decided to take Mr. Ciccone out rabbit hunting and kill him.
Around midnight, Mr. Aguirre loaded up his truck with hunting bows and told Mrs. Aguirre to
bring her gun. The group drove to a nearby open area. Mr. Aguirre had Mrs. Aguirre walk with
Mr. Ciccone while he and the others walked off in another direction. Mr. Ciccone was too
intoxicated to walk any great distance and sat down. After a few seconds, M1'. Aguine walked
up and shot Mr. Ciccone with his crossbow. Mr. Marvin then shot M1'. Ciccone in the baek with
an anow. They then dragged Mr. Ciccone into the bushes. Mr. Aguine handed the crossbow to
Mr. Miller, but My. Miller hesitated to shoot. My. Miller told police that when My. Aguirre
handed him the crossbow Mr. Marvin told him, "You don't have any choice; you can either die
or do what you're told." My. Miller then shot My. Ciccone with an anow, noting that Mr.
Ciccone was begging for his life as he shot him. My. AguilTe then handed Mr. Garwood a kni fe
with which he stabbed My. Ciccone multiple times. Mr. Ciccone died as a result of the attack.
GOVERNING LA W:

The question I must answer is whether My. Marvin will pose a current danger to thc public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of cuncnt dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circw11stances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (III re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 41h 1181, 1214.)

James Marvin,
First-Degree Murder
Page 2
DECISION:

In 2010, the Board of Parole Hearings fOllnd Mr. Marvin suitable for parole based on his
improved insight, good institutional disciplinary record, participation in self-help programming,
positive work record, realistic parole plans, lack of criminal history or assaultive behavior, and
reduced lisk of recidivism due to age, Subsequently, Governor Schwarzenegger reversed the
Board's 2010 decision to grant parole, M1'. Marvin filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus with
the Orange County Superior Court, challenging Govemor Schwarzenegger's reverse decision,
On May 13,2011 the court issued an order granting the petition, vacating the reverse decision,
and remanding the matter to the Governor to consider the Board's 2010 grant of parole, Prior to
the issuance of the COUlt's order, the Board held another parole consideration heming for Mr.
Marvin on April 5, 2011, and detennined that he was not suitable for parole_
I acknowledge ML Marvin has made some efforts to improve himself while incarcerated, He
camed a General Equivalency Diploma, held a number of job assignments, and participated in an
array of self-help programs, I commend Mr, Marvin for taking these positive steps, But
considering all of the relevant information, and giving due weight to the Board's recent finding
of unsuitability, I conclude that Mr. Marvin is unsuitable for parole,
Mr, Marvin and his Clime partners killed Mr. Ciccone in an exceedingly cruel manner that
demonstrated an exceptional callous disregard for his snffering, They took turns shooting him
with aITDWS while he begged for his life and then finished him offby stabbing him repeatedly,
Further, they carried out the murder in a calculated manner, loading up with weapons and taking
Mr. Ciccone out to an open area under the guise of a lllmting expedition, and then attacking him,
Despite clear indications in the record to the contrary, Mr. Marvin told the Board in 2010 that he
did not consider himself a leader of the group that killed Mr. Ciccone, He claimed that he was
"peer dependent" and that he never considered himself a leader of anything, On prior occasions,
he claimed that he got swept up in a "mob mentality" that resulting in the murder. Mr. Mmvin's
actions leading up to the murder and during the murder contradict his recent characterization of
his role in the murder. He told the others "Steve has got to die," He also fired the second arrow
that struck Mr. Ciccone, and be threatened to kill Mr. Miller ifhe did not participate in the
mnrder. M1'. Marvin continues, as he has done in various ways since the time of his arrest, to
minimize his responsibility for the Clime, His statements to the 2010 BOaI-d indicate that he does
not recognize the prominent role he played in causing the death ofMr. Ciccone, in which case he
necessarily lacks a sufficient understanding of the reasons that led him, and the others, to commit
the murder. Until he tmderstands and accepts responsibility for his pivotal role in the horrific
murder, there is insufficient assurance that he appreciates thc wrongfulness of his actions and
will not commit similar violence again,
Mr. Marvin's most recent version of the circumstances leading up to the murder includes a
number of factual discrepancies that also indicate a failure to accept responsibility for the crime
and undemline his credibility, For instance, he claims Mr. Aguirre was mcrely a customer of the
wrecking yard where he worked and that it was a spontaneous party at the Aguirres' house that
brought the group together for the first time 011 the day of the murder. There is conflicting

Jan1es Marvin)
First-Degree Murder
Page 3
evidence in the probation report that Mr. Ciccone and Mr. Marvin had been staying at the
Aguirres' house prior to the murder and that Mr. Ciccone was interested in Mr. Aguirres'
criminal enterprises, which apparently included selling teenage girls as sex slaves in Mexico.
The probation report also indicates that Mr. Marvin had designs to take over Mr. Ciccone's drug
sales as Mr. Ciccone believed he was going to be moving up in an organized crime enterprise.
Mr. Marvin now claims that he was not involved in the drug trade at all except that he had acted
as a bodyguard for Mr. Ciccone on a few occasions and denies that he had designs to become a
drug dealer.
Similarly, during his 2010 parole consideration hearing, Mr. Marvin was quick to claim that all
of the events surrounding the murder occurred in a single day. But during the hearing he
indicated that Mr. Ciccone's mistreatment of the girls at the Aguirres' house began the previolls
evening. He also indicated that he had brought one ofthe girls that Mr. Ciccone allegedly
mistreated to the Aguirres' house on the day of the murder. This claim appears to conflict with
Mr. Marvin's claims at other times during the hearing that he did not know who the girls were.
It also undennines his claim that the gathering was simply an impromptu party at the home of the
Aguirres, whom he claim cd hc only knew as customers of the wrecking yard.
These discrepancies, amongst others in the record, lead me to conclude that Mf. Marvin is not
being truthful regarding the facts of the murder and his motive for committing the crime. It is
apparent that there was more to the story than Mr. Marvin is willing to admit and that he is
attempting to present himself in a deceptively favorable light, presumably in order to obtain a
parole grant. Tbis evidences a failure to accept responsibility that causes me concern that Mf.
Marvin has not come to grips with, and learned from, his actions that resulted in the gruesome
murder of a person he claimed was his friend.

CONCLUSION:
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Marvin is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
cunently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Marvin.

Decision Date: June 10,2011

4

UJ{A13.~p OrJN
I?I/ri w", {f/I
l/\
I

EDMUND G.
JR.
Governor, State of Califomia / /

t7

i

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
ROBERT ROGERS, C-53884
First-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
In the early morning of June 26, 1981, Robe11 Rogers and Raynique Le Duff rented a motel
room. While in the room, ML Rogers shot Ms. Le Duff in the head, killing her. The next day a
hotel employee found her dead on the hotel bed, nude, with a bullet wound in her left temple.
According to police investigators, Ms. Le Duff, who sold drugs for Mr. Rogers, had been
arrested for possession of drugs for sale and was preparing to testify that Mr. Rogers supplied the
drugs. Ms. Le Duff also had failed to pay ML Rogers for drugs she had sold for him.

GOVERNING LA W:
The question I must answer is whether ML Rogers will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the record that was before the
Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances of the
crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 CaL 4th I 181, 12 I 4.)

DECISION:
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Rogers suitable for parole based on his participation in
self-help programs, completion of educational and vocational training, positive institutional job
record, expression of remorse, insight into his criminal behavior, low risk assessment scores, and
solid parole plans.
I acknowledge Mr. Rogers has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He earned a
bachelor's degree in business administration, received vocational training, and held a number of
institutional job assignments. He also participated in a number of self-help programs, including
I 2-step substance abuse programs, Criminon workshops, and anger and conflict management
courses, amongst many others. I commend Mr. Rogers for taking these positive steps. But they
are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.

Robert Rogers, C-53884
First- Degree Murder
Page 2
In a dispassionate and calculated manner, Mr. Rogers executed Ms. Le Duff because he feared
she would implicate him as a drug dealer or because she owed him money from a drug sale. It
was a cold-blooded murder motivated by his desire to protect his interests as a drug dealer. Prior
to the murder, Mr. Rogers had a long history of violent and criminal behavior. While
incarcerated, he continued to act out violently and deal drugs. In fact, there is confidential
information in Mr. Rogers file indicating that he was selling drugs in prison as recently as 2002,
and that as recently as this year he was selling tobacco. in violation of institutional rules.
Mr. Rogers recent participation in selling tobacco and drugs within the prison indicates that he
remains dangerous. If Mr. Rogers, an inmate serving a life sentence and eligible for parole, is
selling unauthorized substances within the confines of the institution, there is a strong likelihood
that he will return to selling drugs in the free community. The murder of Ms. Le Duff resulted
directly from Mr. Rogers' drug enterprise. Thc risk of him committing a similar crime in the
future is unacccptably high considering his past and present penchant for selling drugs.
Further, information in the record indicates that Mr. Rogers lacks remorse for killing Ms. Le
Duff. In 2009, his psychological evaluator found that his statements of remorse "lack sincere
emotional expression." The psychologist based this conclusion on the fact that Mr. Rogers'
affect did not change while discussing the murder, that he did not identify the victim by her
name, and referred to her murder as "this case."
He also refuses to accept responsibility for the premeditated murder. He admits that he shot Ms.
Le Duffbut claims self-defense, saying that she planted the gun under the pillow in the motel
room and that when she went for it, he took it away from her and shot her. Mr. Rogers also
asserts that Ms. Le Duff participated in the planning of an attempt to rob him and that he went to
see her on the night of the murder to discuss that with her. Mr. Rogers story conflicts with the
jury's finding of guilt for first-degree murder, as well as the official record, and reason. For
instance, the probation report indicates that a search ofMr. Rogers' apartment after the murder
turned up bullets that matched the bullet that killed Ms. Le Duff, thereby refuting his assertion
that Ms. Le Duff was responsible for the gun's presence in the hotel room. Also, Mr. Rogers
admitted to the probation officer that he was concerned that Ms. Le Duff was planning to testify
against him and that was the rcason he met with her on the night of the murder. Lastly, Mr.
Rogers' claim that he intended only to talk to Ms. Le Duff seems unbelievable considering the
apparent threat she poscd to him and his criminal enterprise.
Mr. Rogers is not required to admit guilt to be found suitable for parole (Pen. Code § 5011). But
I am not obligated to accept his version of the crime as fact, and I do not. Mr. Rogers' past and
present attitude toward the crime are factors that affect suitability for release. (Cal.Code Regs.,
tit. 15 § 2402(b).) He has shown a lack of remorse and failure to truly accept responsibility for
the murder, indicating that he has yet to recognize the wrongfulness of his actions. This,
combined with his ongoing willingness to pm1icipate in the sale of illegal substances, leads me to
conclude that he is likely to commit further violent acts.

Robert Rogers, C-53884
First-Degree Murder
Page 3

CONCLUSION:
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Rogers is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Rogers.

Decision Date: June 30, 20 I I

ED~RO~ JRCb ~
0

Governor, State of California

1

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
DENNIS NELSON, 0-72724
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS:
On the morning of March 21,1987, Dennis Nelson shot to death his estranged wife, Robben
Nelson, and her boyfriend, 10lumie Cox, at Mr. Cox' residence. After the shooting, Mr. Nelson
returned to his home and asked a neighbor to call the Sheriff and report the murders. He was
arrested later that day. He pled guilty to two counts of second-degree murder. The court
sentenced him to two consecutive tenns of IS years to life in prison.

GOVERNING LAW:
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Nelson will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)

DECISION:
At his parole consideration hearing in 2009, the Board of Parole Hearings denied Mr. Nelson
parole for a period of five years. The Board based its denial on his failure to engage in self-help
as a way to gain insight into the reasons he committed the crime. Mr. Nelson filed a petition for
a writ of habeas corpus with the San Diego County Superior COUl1 challenging the Board's
parole denial. On November 5, 2010, the court issued an order granting the petition and
remanding the case to the Board for further hearing. At the 2011 hearing, the Board granted Mr.
Nelson parole but indicated that it felt compelled by the court order to grant parole even though
it had serious concerns regarding Mr. Nelson's suitability for parole.
I acknowledge that Mr. Nelson has made some effOJ1s to improve himself while incarcerated.
He completed electrical vocational training and has worked for many years as an electrician.
He also has not committed any serious misconduct while in prison and has developed a support
network of other war veterans outside the prison who have experience with Post Traumatic

Dennis Nelson, 072724
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
Stress Disorder. I commend Mr. Nelson for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed
by negative factors that demonstrate that he remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Nelson committed an atrocious crime that involved killing two people unmercifully; one of
them was his wife and mother of his two children. The other victim was his friend. Any motives
he had for killing them were certainly trivial in relation to the magnitude of his crime.
Mr. Nelson admits that he murdered his wife and Mr. Cox but maintains that the murders were
the result of a Viet Nam flashback brought on by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Shortly after
the murders, he told police that upon entering Mr. Cox's bedroom, the sight of Mr. Cox wearing
camouflage and of Ms. Nelson dressed in red triggered his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He
said that because of his military training, in his mind red "meant danger." He also said that
seeing the camouflage and the color red made him feel that he was "back in the bush" in Viet
Nam. He claimed these t.riggers caused him to instinctively shoot both victims.
I find this explanation implausible and disingenuous. Mr. Nelson drove to Mr. Cox's house after
learning that Mr. Cox and Ms. Nelson were having an affair. He armed himself with a loaded
gun and initiated the confrontation. Even ifMr. Nelson had some sort of flashback, his actions
leading up to the murders indicate that they were premeditated. In fact, Mr. Nelson told his
psychologist eighteen days before the murders that he "came very close to taking a gun and
shooting one of his wife's lovers this past Sunday." By blaming the murders on a flashback, Mr.
Nelson has essentially absolved himself of responsibility.
Mr. Nelson's failure to accept responsibility for the murders also indicates a lack of remorse.
His psychological evaluator in 2009 indicated that he was remorseful for the murders. But when
discussing his remorse for the murders, Mr. Nelson focuses on external circumstances, such as
his inability to reach his therapist on the morning of the murders, that combined to result in the
murder occurring. In this way, Mr. Nelson expresses remorse that something did not stop him
from killing two people, rather than for his own actions and the impact they had on the victims
and their families. Mr. Cox's family appeared at Mr. Nelson's most recent parole hearing to
oppose parole. They also expressed concern that Mr. Nelson lacks remorse. Mr. Cox's sister,
niece, and mother each stated that he had not apologized or shown remorse for the murders.
Mr. Nelson's past and present attitude toward the crime are factors that affect suitability for
release. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 15 § 2402(b ).) His failure to accept responsibility for his actions
and express genuine remorse offers no assurance that he would not commit a similar act again.
Mr. Nelson's refusal to accept responsibility for his actions and lack of genuine understanding of
the reasons he committed the crime appear related to his refusal to participate in self-help
programs in prison. He contends that he has sought self-help for his Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder by developing a network of connections with various veterans groups and periodically
receiving visitors from such organizations. While that is certainly positive, he has made no
effort to understand or address the other issues that contributed to him committing the murders
and has rejected suggestions from the Board that he participate in other forms of self-help.

Dennis Nelson, D72724
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3
Without broader participation in self-help programs, Mr. Nelson is unlikely to gain insight into
his propensity for violence or ensure that he will avoid it in the future. The record indicates that,
despite the length of his incarceration, he has not taken any courses to address anger
management, interpersonal relationships or the like. Because he has not shown that he has
obtained the necessary tools to avoid future violence, he remains an unreasonable threat to the
safety to those close to him and the community at large.

CONCLUSION:
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Nelson is cunently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
cunent]y poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Nelson.

Decision Date: July L 201]

a

'J? &C tru

EDMUND . BROWN JR.
Governor, State of California

1
\
'

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
RALPH CLARK, C-45216
Second-degree murder

AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS

Around two 0' clock in the moming on May 3, 1981, Ralph Clark and fellow gang members
Albert Clark, Raul Baca, and Abel Romero, walked past the Cardenas family'S house. As they
did, two car loads of people pulled up in front of the house. That evening, the Cardenas family
had celebrated the 25 th wedding anniversary of Gavino and Vera Cardenas. Mr. Clark and his
fellow gang members approached one of the cars containing a number of women heading to the
house. Mr. Clark and the others said they wanted to come to the party. Thomas Cardenas, the
son of Gavino and Vera, told them it was a family party and they could not attend. A
confrontation ensued. Gavino Cardenas came out of the house to help his son. During the
confrontation, Mr. Romero hit both Thomas and Gavino in the head with a metal pipe. Mr.
Clark then pulled out a .357 magnum pistol and shot Gavino between the eyes, killing him. Mr.
Clark then shot Thomas twice in the chest. Thomas suffered serious injuries but survived the
shooting.
GOVERNING LAW:

The question I must answer is whether Mr. Clark will pose a current danger to the public if
released. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was before the Board
of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances of the crime can
provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the
inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and mental state,
indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In re
Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)
DECISION:

The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Clark suitable for parole based on his remorse, insight
into the crime, completion of vocational training, positive job assignment record, participation in
self-help programming, lack of serious disciplinary problems, solid parole plans, and reduced
risk of recidivism due to his age.

Ralph Clark, C-45216
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2

I acknowledge Mr. Clark has made gains while incarcerated. He completed multiple vocational
training programs and held a number of institutional job assignments. He also participated in
self-help programs that addressed such issues as substance abuse, anger management, and the
gang and criminal mindset. I commend him for taking these positive steps. But they are
outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Clark committed an atrocious murder. He killed Gavino Cardenas and badly injured his son,
Thomas, on what had been a day of celebration for the Cardenas family. The motive for the
murder was very trivial, resulting from a confrontation instigated by Mr. Clark and his
associates.
The murder was one of many crimes Mr. Clark committed in his youth. Along with his
brothers, he was heavily entrenched in the street gang lifestyle. Prior to the murder, he
committed multiple property crimes and weapon offenses and, at the time of the murder, had
recently paroled from the California Youth Authority after serving time for robbery.
The psychological evaluation performed on Mr. Clark in 2009 indicates that he remains a threat
to society if released from prison. The risk assessments in his 2009 psychological evaluation
indicate that he poses a "moderate" risk of violent recidivism, a "moderate" risk of general
recidivism, and an overall "moderate" risk of violence in the community. The psychologist
identified Mr. Clark's early criminal record, history of substance abuse, Antisocial Personality
Disorder, psychopathic traits, and limited insight into the causes of the crime as factors that
increased his risk of committing another violent crime. The psychologist found that Mr. Clark
had "limited insight into [the] origin of his aggressive/violent antisocial behavior." He opined
that Mr. Clark's lack of insight "would be expected to cause difficulties with the inmate's ability
to identify and change his poor decision making" and concluded that Mr. Clark "appears to have
not spent sufficient time exploring his thought process leading up to the controlling offense, as
well as completely identifying his errors in judgment that led to the victims' death."
Mr. Clark also minimizes his culpability for the crime by denying that he shot Thomas and
Gavino Cardenas. He claims that he tripped and dropped the gun and that his brother, Albert,
picked it up and shot the victims. But the August 16, 1983 appellate opinion in this case states
that at trial four eyewitnesses, including Thomas Cardenas, identified Mr. Clark as the only
person who wielded the gun and fired the shots. The psychologist, who "did not find [Mr. Clark]
to be a completely reliable historian," sites this factual discrepancy as further evidence that Mr.
Clark has not fully explored the internal causes and factors that led to the crime.
Mr. Clark has really not explained why he saw fit to shoot a .357 magnum and kill Gavino
Cardenas and severely wound Thomas Cardenas. Unless he can show deeper insight and explain
why he is different now, there is little assurance that he is not prone to further violence.

Ralph Clark, C-45216
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3
CONCLUSION:

I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Clark is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Clark.

Decision Date: July 8,2011
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
DAVID A VILA, D-40735
First-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On February 5, 1986, David Avila and Arthur Samrano went to a convenience store. While
standing outside the store, they encountered Michael Bergman. Mr. Samrano approached Mr.
Bergman and demanded Mr. Bergman's wallet. Mr. Bergman resisted. Mr. Samrano and Mr.
Bergman began to struggle. Mr. Avila then stepped forward and stabbed Mr. Bergman in the
chest with a knife. Mr. Bergman released his wallet and Mr. Samrano and Mr. A vila walked
away with it laughing. Mr. Bergman drove to a friend's home where he died from the stabbing.
GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Avila will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the imnate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181,1214.)
DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. A vila suitable for parole based on his insight, self-help
programming, positive mental state, edncational and vocational upgrading, realistic parole plans,
and maturity.
I acknowledge that Mr. A vila has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He has
participated in various fonns of self-help such as substance-abuse therapy, anger management,
stress management, and victims awareness. He has also successfully completed vocational
training programs for furniture refinishing and small-engine repair. I commend Mr. Avila for
taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he
remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Avila conspired to rob Mr. Bergman, who was alone and unam1ed. When his victim
resisted, Mr. Avila stabbed him in the chest, exhibiting utter disregard for human life.

David Avila, D-40735
First-Degree Murder
Page 2

Mr. Avila continues to minimize his culpability for the crime. During his 20 II parole hearing,
he told the Board that he asked Mr. Bergman for money to make a telephone call as he was
leaving the store and that Mr. Bergman pushed him and told him to get away. He claims they
then became involved in a fight and that he pulled out the knife because Mr. Bergman was
beating him up. He says he merely intended to hit Mr. Bergman in the stomach with his knife to
get Mr. Bergman off him. He also claimed that when he sv.'Ung his knife at Mr. Bergman's
stomach, Mr. Bergman dodged in such a way that the knife penetrated his chest. In other words,
Mr. Avila claims he was only acting to defend himself.
But the facts suggest otherwise. The probation report discloses that an eyewitness told police
that he saw Mr. Avila and Mr. Samrano standing outside the convenience store for some time
before Mr. Bergman arrived. The witness heard either Mr. Avila or his crime partner say "okay"
to the other when Mr. Bergman exited the store. Mr. Samrano then approached Mr. Bergman
and demanded his wallet. Mr. Bergman refused and a fight ensued. At this point, Mr. Avila
approached Mr. Bergman and stabbed him in the chest. He then took Mr. Bergman's wallet and
left.
I find the disinterested witness' statement, which is quite different from Mr. A vila's account, to
be very plausible. 1 believe Mr. Avila is not being honest when he claims that he did not intend
to rob Mr. Bergman and that he only stabbed him to protect himself. By minimizing his role in
the crime and blaming the victim, Mr. Avila shows that he fails to accept responsibility and does
not exhibit insight, much less remorse, for his actions. This leads me to believe that he presents
a current risk of committing further acts of violence.
The risk-assessment scores in his 2010 psychological evaluation show that he poses a
"moderate" risk of violent recidivism, rates in the "medium" range for likelihood of general
recidivism, and that overall he is "moderate" risk of violence in the free community.
CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Avila is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, 1 find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society ifreleased from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Avila.

Decision Date: July 14, 2011
EDMUNDG.B
Govemor, State ofCalifi

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
CHRISTOPHER SMITH, C-65807
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On September 2, 1982, Christopher Smith and three friends got into a fight with another group of
young men, one of whom threw a beer bottle that struck Mr. Smith in the face, cutting him. Mr.
Smith ran home and retumed to the scene of the fight with a loaded shotgun. He then shot
Antonio Lopez in the back from a nearby alley because he believed Mr. Lopez had thrown the
beer bottle at him. Mr. Lopez later died from the bullet wound.

GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Smith will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the imnate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181,1214.)

DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Smith suitable for parole based on his expression of
remorse, participation in self-help programs, educational training, positive mental state,
acceptance of responsibility, insight, and solid parole plans.
I acknowledge Mr. Smith has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He eamed a
General Equivalency Diploma and completed 15 units of community college study. He has
participated in self-help programs including Denial Management, Social Skills Training,
Altematives to Violence, Breaking Barriers, and several anger-management classes. I commend
Mr. Smith for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by negative factors that
demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Smith killed his victim in a dispassionate and calculated maimer. He shot Mr. Lopez in the
back from a nearby alley. The motive for the murder was trivial, a completely disproportionate
response to a relatively minor confrontation.

Christopher Smith, C-65807
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
Though Mr. Smith has made gains while incarcerated, his most recent psychological evaluation
indicates that he remains a threat to the community. The risk assessments from Mr. Smith's
2010 psychological evaluation indicated that he posed a "moderate" risk of violent recidivism, a
"medium" risk of general recidivism, and that overall he posed a "moderate" risk of violence in
the free community. Factors that contributed to Mr. Smith's elevated risk assessment ratings
included his criminal history, antisocial personality traits, long history of failing to take
responsibility for his behavior, continued attitude of rule-defiance, limited insight, current
impulsivity, and history of substance abuse.
While Mr. Smith now admits to committing the murder and has beb'Un to participate in self-help
programs after many years of resisting, he still lacks an understanding of the causes that led him
to murder Mr. Lopez. The psychologist found that Mr. Smith has "limited insight into the
functions of his past violent impulses" and that he "may benefit from taking a more honest look
into the true motives of the crime, as well as a probative look into the function of his retaliatory
impulses." The psychologist also found that Mr. Smith "appears to have an unrealistic appraisal
of his past addiction issues, as evidenced by [his) continued abuse of alcohol in prison." The
psychologist further observed that Mr. Smith has "failed to fully appreciate the benefit of
substance abuse treatment." The psychologist concluded that Mr. Smith could increase his level
of insight and decrease his risk of future violence by continuing to participate in self-help
therapies. Until Mr. Smith obtains a better understanding of the factors that led him to commit
the murder, he remains an unreasonable risk to reoffend.
I am also alanned by Mr. Smith's relatively recent misconduct in prison. He has a hard time
following the rules. He was disciplined in 2009 for possessing contraband. He was also
disciplined in 2006 for disobeying orders and counseled in 2009 for failing to follow orders.
These recent offenses are part of a pattem of misconduct by Mr. Smith occurring throughout his
incarceration. His ongoing inability to follow rules in a controlled environment causes me
concern about his willingness to comply with the conditions of his parole and follow the laws of
free society.
CONCLUSION

I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Smith is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, J find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society ifreleased from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Smith.

Decision Date: July 14, 201 I

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
BRUCE CHASE, B-50292
First-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On May 15, 1973, Bruce Chase and Michael Rosales entered a store where Elsie Cabatic worked
as a clerk. Mr. Chase or Mr. Rosales struck Ms. Cabatic over the head with a heavy object,
rendering her semi-conscious. Next, they strangled Ms. Cabatic with an electrical cord, doused
her with a flammable liquid, and set her on fire. Mr. Chase and Mr. Rosales took money from
the cash register and left Ms. Cabatic in the store to bum. Ms. Cabatic died from injuries caused
by the fire.
GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Chase will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (1n re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)
DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Chase suitable for parole based on his serious medical
condition, advanced age, self-help programming, institutional disciplinary history, parole plans,
and remorse.
Mr. Chase has made limited efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He participated in
Alcoholics Anonymous, an Asian Culture Study course, and a self-instructional computer
literacy program. He also held a number of institutional jobs until his medical conditions
prevented him from working. I commend Mr. Chase for taking these positive steps. But they are
outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Chase murdered Ms. Cabatic in an especially cruel manner. He and his crime pminer beat,
strangled, and then burned an innocent 52 year-old woman and left her to die. Their motivation
was simply a desire for money to buy drugs, a very trivial motive in relation to the offense. The
gruesome manner in which Mr. Chase and his crime partner attacked Ms. Cabatic demonstrated
an exceptionally callous disregard for human suffering.

Bruce Chase, B-50292
First-Degree Murder
Page 2
Despite the passage of time and the gains that Mr. Chase has made while incarcerated, his most
recent psychological report indicates that he does not accept full responsibility for his role in the
murder. The psychologist noted that Mr. Chase "insisted he was accepting 'full responsibility'
for the crime." Yet Mr. Chase also attempted to shift blame by telling the psychologist that his
codefendant proposed the crime and induced him participate by giving him LSD. Mr. Chase
now claims amnesia regarding the circumstances of the crime, but has previously provided a
number offacts regarding the murder. Mr. Chase cannot meaningfully accept responsibility for
the crime while simultaneously blaming his codefendant and claiming that he no longer
remembers the murder. The psychologist pointed out that acceptance of responsibility is
essential to gaining insight:
Facing the truth about this crime, may indeed be emotionally difficult, nonetheless it is
critical ifhe wants to understand his criminal behaviors in order to prevent such
behaviors from happening in the future ... Unless he knows what he did and why he did it,
there is a strong possibility that he will repeat such behavior again.
Mr. Chase remains a threat to society because his inconsistent approach to the murder
demonstrates that he has not gained insight into his actions.
My concern that Mr. Chase remains dangerous is also supported by the risk assessment scores in
his 2010 psychological evaluation. The psychological evaluation states that he poses a
"moderate" risk of violent recidivism and a "medium" risk of general recidivism. The
psychologist attrihuted Mr. Chase's moderate risk assessment for violent recidivism to several
factors including limited insight into the reasons for his crime, blaming his codefendant, and his
claimed loss of memory for the committed criminal acts. The psychologist also cited Mr.
Chase's minimal recognition of the personality characteristics that led to his previous crimes and
use of intoxicants.
Until he accepts responsibility for his actions, and obtains greater insight into the reasons he
committed this senseless and hrutal murder, Mr. Chase remains a threat to public safety. The
psychologist concluded that Mr. Chase could decrease his risk of future violent behavior in
several ways. He could come to tenns with the reasons for the murder without blaming his
codefendant, accept full responsibility for the crime, and express his contrition.
CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Chase is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Chase.

Decision Date: July 29. 2011
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
MANUEL DUNN, K-77333
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
Manuel Dunn and Luis Mota were members of the Westside Drifters street gang. On August 29,
1996, one oftheir fellow gang members was shot and killed. The Drifters believed that a rival
street gang, known as SSK, was responsible and Mr. Dunn decided to seek revenge. While
driving with Mr. Mota the next day in SSK territory, Mr. Dunn spotted a car that belonged to a
member ofSSK. Mr. Dunn stopped his car and Mr. Mota got out, approached the other car, and
fired a pistol about six times at the car. SSK members Marvin Garcia, Omar Pacheco, and Juan
Alvarado were in the car. A bullet hit Mr. Garcia in the neck and killed him. Mr. Pacheco and
Mr. Alvarado were not injured.
GOVERNING LAW:
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Dunn will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)
DECISION:
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Dunn suitable for parole based on his acceptance of
responsibility for the crime, participation in self-help programs, ability to remain discipline-free
for over eight years, preparation of a relapse-prevention plan, and increased maturity. The Board
set Mr. Dunn's parole date for November 2016.
I acknowledge Mr. Dunn has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He completed
vocational training in janitorial services. He also has participated in the following self-help
programs: Narcotics Anonymous (2010-2011), Anger Management course, Alternatives to
Domestic Violence group, Relapse Prevention Plan workshop, Victim Awareness workshop, and
Job Re-entry workshop. I commend Mr. DurUl for taking these positive steps. But they are
outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.

Manuel Dunn, K-77333
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2

Mr. Dunn has a lengthy history of violent crime. He joined a gang at the age of 16 and had a
criminal record that included juvenile offenses of burglary, robbery, and drug possession. Mr.
Dunn was the driver as well as the instigator in the murder of Mr. Garcia. After his
incarceration, he continued his criminal behavior, receiving Rules Violation Reports twice for
participating in race-based fights and once for battering another inmate.
While Mr. Dunn's behavior in prison has improVed in recent years, his 2010 psychological
evaluation indicates that he poses a "medium" risk of violent recidivism. This elevated score is
based on a number of historical factors, as well as his lack of insight into his criminal behavior,
and the causes that led him to commit the life crime, and his lack of preparation for life in the
community. The psychologist found that he did not have adequate insight into his motivations
for joining a gang and involving himself in criminal activities, and that he did not take
responsibility for his choices but instead blamed other people and his circumstances. The
psychologist also stated that Mr. Dunn did not express an appropriate understanding of the
seriousness of taking a life, nor did he express discernable remorse or empathy for his victims.
The other risk assessments in the psychological evaluation placed Mr. Dunn in the "high"
category for risk of general recidivism, rated him in the "moderate" range for psychopathy, and
the concluded that he posed a "moderate" risk for violence in the free community.
I am also concerned by Mr. Dunn's limited participation in self-help programs. Mr. Dunn
essentially started participating in self-help programming in 2010. According to the
psychological evaluation, Mr. Dunn has more work to do in gaining insight into the causes of his
criminal behavior as well as his impulsivity and behavioral control problems. The psychologist
also found that Mr. Dunn's thinking remained "steeped" in the customs of the gang lifestyle and
that he had not yet learned to think independently and choose appropriate responses in difficult
situations. The psychologist concluded that Mr. Dunn was "capable of benefitting from self-help
groups if he will apply himself' and that it is "important that he get a different perspective ifhe
is to increase his insight to more appropriate levels."
Mr. Dunn's elevated risk assessment scores, along with the other findings in his psychological
evaluation, and his insufficient participation in self-help programming, indicate that he has yet to
show sufficient changes in his way of thinking to ensure that he will not return to a criminal
lifestyle if released into the community.
CONCLUSION:

I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Dunn is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence J have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, J reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Dunn.

Decision Date: July 29,2011

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
WALTER ROMINE, K-78735
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
Walter Romine was driving approximately 60 miles per hour down a city street with a posted
speed limit of 30 miles per hour. He ran a red light and crashed into a car driven by Jose Limas.
Mr. Limas's wife, Martha, and their four-year-old son and two-year-old daughter were also in
the car. Mrs. Limas suffered a fractured skull in the crash and died. Mr. Limas and his son both
suffered head injuries but survived. Police administered a blood alcohol test on Mr. Romine
shortly after the crash. The test showed he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.23 percent. Mr.
Romine had been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol six times prior to the life
cnme.

GOVERNING LAW
The question J must answer is whether Mr. Romine will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, J must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (1n re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)

DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Romine suitable for parole based on his acceptance of
responsibility and remorse for the murder, lack of misconduct in prison, participation in self-help
programs, completion of vocational training, and positive institutional work record. The Board
gave him a future parole date of July 28, 2014.

J acknowledge Mr. Romine has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He
completed vocational training programs, held a number of job assignments, and has not been
disciplined for any misconduct. He has also participated in self-help programs, including
Alcoholics Anon)~l1ous, Partnership for Re-entry Program courses in life skills and selfdevelopment, Anger Management program workshop, Parenting program workshop, Substance
Abuse program workshop, Creative Conflict Resolutions training, an Altematives to Violence
Project course, and a Breaking Barriers workshop. I commend Mr. Romine for taking these
positive steps. But they are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains
unsuitable for parole.

Walter Romine, K-78735
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
Mr. Romine's decision to get drunk and drive his truck down a city street at a rate twice the
speed limit shows a complete disregard for the safety of others. Tragically, it resulted in the
death of a young wife and mother, and injuries to her four-year-old son and her husband. At Mr.
Romine's recent parole hearing, Mrs. Limas's sister spoke about the heartache and pain her
entire family suffered as a result of Mrs. Limas' death. On behalfofher family, she expressed
their opposition to a b'Tant of parole for Mr. Romine.
Mr. Romine had six convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol prior to the day he
killed Mrs. Limas. He told the psychologist during his 2010 evaluation that he quit drinking
alcohol for a sustained period on two occasions prior to the murder, once for nine years, and a
sccond time for five years. But both times he went back to abusing alcohol and would invariably
drive drunk. He attended a number of court-ordered alcohol treatment programs as a result of his
prior convictions, but none of those programs changed his behavior. He told the psychologist
that he never attended any sort of alcohol treatment unless ordered by the court.
Despite his severe alcohol addiction, Mr. Romine's dedication to alcohol treatment while in
prison has been underwhelming. He participated in Alcoholics Anonymous in 1997 through
1998, and then again beginning in December of 2008 to the present, leaving a gap of almost 11
years where he was not involved in treatment. In the past he only attended substance abuse
treatment when ordered by the court and in each instance he did not remain sober. This makes
me question whether his more recent participation in Alcoholics Anonymous has been the result
of a true commitment to treatment, or to satisfy the Board. At his recent parole hearing, he told
the Board that he had not secured a sponsor in the community, did not have a relapse prevention
plan, and could not identify potential triggers in the free community that would challenge his
sobriety. The psychologist found that Mr. Romine had little insight into the preparation he
needed to do to deal with problematic issues that would arise in the community. The
psychologist also noted that his risk of relapse in the community was uncertain due to his history
of problematic alcohol use, which increased his likelihood of committing another crime.
Given Mr. Romine's pattern of behavior throughout his adult life, I am very concerned that ifhe
is paroled he will drink and drive. He must show a sincere and sustained commitment to
treatment. He also must recognize the issues he will face upon being released on parole and have
plans in place to address those issues. Until he does, he remains an unreasonable risk of harm to
others.

CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Romine is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed above
demonstrates why he currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I
reverse the decision to parole Mr. Romine.

Decision Date: July 29,2011
Governor, State of California ,

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
MELVIN BLAKE, B-76340
First-degree murder
AFFIRlVl:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS

On March 25, 1976, Melvin Blake, accompanied by a friend, went to a liquor store armed with a
handgun intending to rob the store. Before entering the store they saw Mark Doud walking by.
Mr. Blake shot Mr. Doud in the head and back in an attempt to rob him. Mr. Doud died at the
scene from the shooting. Mr. Blake and his friend fled. Mr. Blake surrendered to the police
several weeks later.
GOVERNING LAW

The question I must answer is whether Mr. Blake will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's CUlTent demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)
DECISION

The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Blake suitable for parole based on his remorse, parole
plans, disciplinary record while incarcerated, the self-help programming he has completed,
insight, and the educational courses completed in prison.
I acknowledge that Mr. Blake has made some eff0l1s to improve himself while incarcerated. He
earned a General Equivalency Diploma in 2010. He has participated in some self-help programs
including Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous in 2010 and 20 II, Relapse Prevention Planning
workshop, Partnership for Re-Entry Program, Anger Management program, Victims Awareness
program, and Alternatives to Violence. I commend Mr. Blake for taking these positive steps.
But they are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Blake callously shot Mr. Doud even though he was unarmed and posed no threat to Mr.
Blake. The shooting was completely unprovoked and senseless. Whatever motive Mr. Blake

Melvin Blake, B-76340
First-Degree Murder
Page 2
had for murdering Mr. Doud, it was either inexplicable or very trivial in relation to the
magnitude of the offense.
Mr. Blake's account of the crime is not only contrary to the evidence, but so implausible that I
cannot believe it. He told his psychological evaluator in September 2010 that while he and his
crime partner were walking to the liquor store on the day of the crime, his brother walked up to
them, hugged Mr. Blake and noticed that Mr. Blake was carrying a pistol. According to Mr.
Blake, his brother became concerned that they were going to rob the store, and told them to "do
good" and get rid of the gun. Mr. Blake denied that they were going to rob the store and, in an
attempt to get rid of his brother, pointed to Mr. Doud who was near the store and told his brother
that Mr. Doud owed him money from a drug deal. Then, according to Mr. Blake, his brother
took the gun from him, and went after Mr. Doud and shot him twice. It strains credulity to think
that in one moment, Mr. Blake's brother would be admonishing him to stay out of trouble and
get rid of his gun, then in the next moment, would take that gun and use it to kill a perfect
stranger on the belief he owed a drug debt to Mr. Blake.
Mr. Blake also changes his story on two other points: whether he talked to his brother after the
crime and who was holding the gun.
He told the probation officer shortly after he was convicted that he spoke with his brother again
after the crime, and they planned the story he would tell police. But he told his 201 0 evaluator
that he never spoke to his brother after the crime. Then, six months later at his parole hearing, he
reverted to his original story that he did speak to his brother after the crime.
He also told his 2010 evaluator that his brother "hugged me and noticed that I had a pistol." But
at his parole hearing, he told the board that it was his crime partner who was the one carrying the
gun. I find it hard to beJieve Mr. Blake's ever-changing story. Until he offers a credible account
of his crime, there can be no assurance that he understands why he killed Mr. Doud or that he has
taken the steps necessary to ensure that he will not conunit other violent acts.
The conclusions of the psychologist who evaluated him in 2010 confirm my concerns. The
psychologist assessed him as posing a "moderate" risk of violent recidivism, a "high" risk of
general recidivism, and an overall "moderate/high" risk of violence in the free community. The
psychologist also concluded that he "meets the full criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder,"
an essential feature of which "is a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights
of others that begins in childhood and continues into adulthood." The psychologist identified his
history of violence, substance-use problems, early maladjustment, prior supervision failure,
Antisocial Personality Disorder, moderate traits of psychopathy, limited participation in selfhelp, and lack of insight all as factors that increase his likelihood of future violence.
The psychologist found that Mr. Blake lacks insight regarding the murder and the "personality
dynamics that may have conlIibuted to his behaviors." The psychologist also found that he lacks
genuine empathy for the victim and stated that "Mr. Blake was unable to state, beyond a
superficial explanation, how he has grown and what he had learned in prison that would prevent
him from making the same mistakes in the future." The psychologist concluded that Mr. Blake

Melvin Blake, B-76340
First-Degree Murder
Page 3
could decrease his risk of violence by gaining insight into himself and his role in the crime.
Until Mr. Blake gains a greater understanding of why he committed the crime, there is no
assurance that he has learned from his mistakes.
I also share the psychologist's concern that Mr. Blake's participation in self-help programs has
been insufficient. Mr. Blake admitted being under the influence of alcohol and marijuana at the
time of the murder, and that he was "an inhalant freak" who would inhale gasoline, fingernail
polish, spot remover, and spray paint. But he only- began participating in Alcoholics and
Narcotics Anonymous last year. The psychologist found that "Mr. Blake appeared to have
limited insight and awareness regarding the role that alcohol and drugs have played in the
circumstances of his life." At the time of his 2010 psychological evaluation, he could not recite
the 12 steps, or explain how he incorporates those tenets into his life. Noting this lack of insight
into his substance abuse problem and limited self-help participation, the psychologist described
Mr. Blake's prognosis for abstinence in the free community as "guarded." Given that drugs and
alcohol contributed to Mr. Blake's prior criminal activity, he needs to demonstrate a meaningful
and sustained commitment to address his addiction issues through self-help programming, to
help ensure that he will be able to cope with these issues when he is released from the controlled
prison environment.
Finally, Mr. Blake does not appear to have well-considered parole plans. He told his 2010
psychological evaluator that he planned to parole to San Diego County where he grew up and
was going to reside in a PREP program. But at his parole hearing, he informed the board that he
was instead going to parole to Los Angeles County where he would enter the Bible Tabernacle
New Life Institute. He told the board that he made the change because he was concerned that he
would not be able to afford the cost of the PREP program. But the hearing commissioner
infonned him that the PREP program puts its residents to work so that they can earn money to
cover the cost of the program. I find it concerning that Mr. Blake had a limited and incorrect
understanding of his original parole plan, and that his selection of a different program in a county
to which he apparently has no connection may also not be sufficiently thought through. Until
Mr. Blake demonstrates that he has viable, well-conceived parole plans, I believe he will present
an unacceptable risk to society if released.
CONCLUSION:
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Blake is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Blake.
Decision Date: August 1,2011

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
FRANCISCO BAUTISTA, C-45656
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On October 14, 1981, Francisco Bautista stabbed to death 17 year-old Ricardo Rodriguez in a
restaurant parking lot. Before the murder, Bautista had told several witnesses that he wanted to
fight Rodriguez because he was a "snitch." Bautista approached Rodriguez with a knife.
Rodriguez was unanned and refused to fight but Bautista stabbed him anyway. Rodriguez fell to
the ground and Bautista stabbed him twice more. Standing over Rodriguez, Bautista then told
witnesses the he had to kill Rodriguez to prevent reprisals. He stabbed Rodriguez twice more
then fled the scene. Bautista stabbed Rodriguez a total of seven times. Rodriguez died of his
stab wounds.

GOVERNING LAW
The question 1 must answer is whether Mr. Bautista will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards, The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness, (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 CaL 4th 1181,1214,)

DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Bautista suitable for parole based on his insight into the
crime, acceptance of full responsibility, remorse, parole plans, his completion of vocational
training, positive institutional behavior, and participation in self help.

J acknowledge that Mr. Bautista has made some efforts to improve himself while incarcerated,
He obtained his General Equivalency Diploma, participated extensively in substance-abuse
therapy and various anger-management programs, Mr. Bautista has also completed vocational
drafting and received commendations from institutional staff for his positive behavior and job
perfom1ance, 1 commend Mr. Bautista for taking these positive steps, But they are outweighed
by negative factors that demonstrate he remains dangerous,

Francisco Bautista, C-45656
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
ML Bautista repeatedly stabbed an unanned teenage boy to death in public in front of several
people. He acted without provocation and interrupted himself only to tell onlookers that he had
to finish the job to avoid reprisals. The motive for ML Bautista's brutal violence-his belief that
Mr. Rodriguez had somehow been a snitch-was trivial in relation to the offense and evidences
an inability to control his rage.
Mr. Bautista has a history of gang involvement, and I am concerned that he remains involved in
dangerous activities. As recently as 2005, several sources of confidential infonnation indicate
that he was involved in manufacturing and smuggling weapons in prison. This infonnation did
not result in any disciplinary action against Mr. Bautista but, if true, it certainly causes me
concern that he remains dangerous. Therefore, I cannot allow Mr. Bautista to be released from
prison until prison authorities have investigated these allegations and detennined whether they
are true and whether Mr. Bautista remains involved in these activities. The Board should
consider the results of this investigation at Mr. Bautista's next parole hearing.
CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether ML Bautista is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Bautista.

Decision Date: August 5, 201 1
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINA TE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
BYRON MILLS, C-32019
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On July 13, 1980, Byron Mills killed his wife, Rosemary Mills. On that evening, Ms. Mills told
him that she had been having an affair with another man. Mr. Mills became angry, grabbed her
by the neck, and choked her to death.
GOVERNING LAW

The question I must answer is whether Mr. Mills will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (1n re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th I 181, 1214.)
DECISION

The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Mills suitable for parole based on his vocational
training while incarcerated, parole plans, disciplinary record while incarcerated, the self-help
programs that he has completed, age, and remorse.
I acknowledge that Mr. Mills has made some efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He
eamed a General Equivalency Diploma in 1991. He has acquired marketable skills in masonry
and dry cleaning. He has also participated in Narcotics Anonymous, Victim Offender Education
Group, Alternatives to Violence, Anger Management, Rational Behavior Training Group, and
Beginning Stress Management. I commend him for taking these positive steps. But they are
outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains dangerous.
Mr. Mills brutally and unmercifully choked to death Ms. Mills, his wife and the mother of his
two children. Mr. Mills held a position of trust as Ms. Mills's husband and the father of her
children, who were left without either parent to care for them.
Despite many years of self-help programming in prison, Mr. Mills still appears to lacks insight
into his crime. He fails to take resJlonsibility for murdering his wife and has not shown genuine

Byron Mills, C-32019
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
remorse or understanding of the reasons that led him to do it. These deficiencies in Mr. Mills's
insight were apparent to his psychological evaluator as recently as March 2010. The evaluator
explained that Mr. Mills "appears to have accepted limited responsibility by continuing to place
a preponderance of provocation on the victim. Therefore, he presents as making efforts to
rationalize and minimize his role, and appears to lack a full understanding of the factors that
contributed to his commission of the life crime."
The psychological evaluator also doubted the sincerity ofMr. Mills's remorse and regret,
explaining that "his affect appeared superficial and his demonstrated empathy and remorse
appeared detached and unemotional rather than internal and emotional. His reported remorse
appears to be more focused on how the life crime has impacted his life, rather than an internal
sense of empathy for the loss of life he took from the victim."
Other aspects of Mr. Mills's behavior similarly call his sincerity into question. The
psychological evaluator described him as glib and superficial, and stated that he presented
himself with "some deceitfulness." The evaluator noted that he has an "ongoing pattern of
minimizing or denying the seriousness of his past relational violence" and has "not taken full
responsibility for his behaviors[.]"
My concerns about Mr. Mills are further supported by his inability to recall significant aspects
about his history of violence. He admitted to grabbing and hitting Ms. Mills but then said "No, I
never beat Rosemarie." The psychological evaluator noted that Mr. Mills's denial when
answering questions about statements contained in the probation officer's report. Mr. Mills also
stated that he did not recall kicking in the door to his residence, being served with a restraining
order, being described as a bully, or admitting to another psychological evaluator that he slapped
Ms. Mills with an open hand on approximately 10 occasions. Mr. Mills has a selective memory
that conveniently minimizes his history of violent behavior.
Mr. Mills was evaluated again in January 2011. The more recent psychological evaluation states
that Mr. Mills acknowledged that he was verbally, emotionally and physically abusive to his
wife. The evaluation also states that Mr. Mills has displayed insight into his feelings of hurt and
jealousy. But this subsequent report is less in-depth than the more comprehensive evaluation
perfonned only 10 months earlier. And it does not address all the previously raised concerns
about his sincerity or understanding of his life crime. For these reasons, I am giving it less
weight, and do not find that it adequately addresses the concerns raised in the March 20 10
evaluation.
Finally, Mr. Mills's own children oppose his release from prison. His daughter testified at his
parole hearing that he lacks genuine remorse and she expressed concerns for her safety and the
safety of her family memhers ifhe is released. She explained that he does not appreciate that his
crime caused her and her brother to grow up not only without a mother, but also without a father.
She also read a letter from Mr. Mills's son in which he expressed his view that Mr. Mills is
deceitful, unremorseful, and has not acknowledged the full extent of how abusive he was.

Byron Mills, C-32019
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3

CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Mills is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, J find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision \0
parole Mr. Mills.

Decision Date: August 5, 2011

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
THOMAS REESE, K-28608
Second-degree murder

AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On March 9,1995, Thomas Reese shot and killed Christopher Lewis, a boy he had known since
elementary school. Mr. Reese, then 16 years old, erroneously believed that Christopher had shot
a friend of his, paralyzing him from the waist down. The day of the murder, Mr. Reese and a
companion walked up to Christopher at a bus stop where he was waiting for the bus to take him
to school. They exchanged words and began to argue. During the exchange, Mr. Reese took out
a handgun and shot Christopher in the face, killing him

GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Reese will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (1n re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)

DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Reese suitable for parole based on his participation in
self-help, substance-abuse therapy, his demonstration of remorse, completed vocational training,
educational achievements, positive institutional behavior, and favorable psychological
evaluation. The Board set Mr. Reese's parole date for June 2016.
I acknowledge that Mr. Reese has taken steps to improve himself while incarcerated. He earned
a high school diploma and he completed vocational programs for machine shop and welding. He
has successfully held a number of jobs within the prison for which received favorable jobperfonnance reviews. He participated in Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous and numerous
self-help programs such as Anger Management, Nonviolent Communication, Getting Out by
Going In, Individuals Making Peace and Change Together, Transfonning Lives Network, and
Victims Awareness. I commend him for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by
negative factors that indicate he remains unsuitable for parole.

Thomas Reese, K-28608
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2

Mr. Reese committed a completely senseless and unprovoked murder. For entirely unfounded
and unjustifiable reasons, Mr. Reese shot and killed Christopher Lewis merely because he
suspected Christopher was responsible for paralyzing another boy. Mr. Reese showed a no
disregard for Christopher's life.
I remain concemed that Mr. Reese has not fully accepted responsibility for killing Mr. Lewis.
Mr. Reese told the psychological evaluator in January 2009 that shooting Mr. Lewis was "a
tragic event that happened." By characterizing his crime as simply an event that "happened,"
rather than something that he consciously perpetrated, Mr. Reese fails to take adequate
responsibility for his actions. Until he does so, I will remain concemed that he continues to pose
a threat to public safety.
Although I still have public safety concems at this point, it appears to me that with continued
participation in self-help programming, Mr. Reese will be able to demonstrate sufficient insight
and eliminate this concem at his parole hearing next year.

CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Reese is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, 1 reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Reese.

Decision Date: August 5, 201 I

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
LAKENDALL SMITH, H-64209
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS

On October 20, 1991, LaKendall Smith rode in a car with James Turner, Justin Alcorn, and
Kenyata Bishop to Mawson Bridge to shoot Mr. Smith's gun. As they drove over the bridge
they saw Phillip Hancock fishing with two other men. Mr. Hancock was a 32-year old man with
autism who required assistance.
After passing the bridge, Mr. Smith and his companions pulled over and started drinking beer
and brandy until it began to get dark. They talked about how they could shoot someone and get
away with it. TIley then drove back over the bridge. Mr. Smith told the driver to stop the car,
and he and Mr. Turner got out and walked down a trail. Mr. Smith said he had something to do.
As they walked, Mr. Smith said, ''I'm about to cap" and "I'm gOlllla do 'em." After a bit, they
stopped and Mr. Smith fired his gUll several times towards the bridge. One of the bullets struck
Mr. Hancock. Mr. Smith and Mr. Turner ran back to the car where their companions were
waiting. They told them that "We shot and busted a dude." Mr. Smith added, "I busted." The
group then drove away. Mr. Hancock was taken to a hospital where he died from his wound.
GOVERNING LAW

The question I must answer is whether Mr. Smith will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)
DECISION

The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Smith suitable for parole based on his educational
upgrades, age, acceptance of responsibility, insight, parole plans, remorse, and the abscnce of
any gang affiliation.

LaKendali Smith, H-64209
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
I acknowledge that Mr. Smith has made some efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He
has participated in Alcoholics Anonymous since 1996, volunteered as a literacy tutor, and taken
many self-help courses. Some of his self-help courses include Victim's Reflection, Criminal &
Addictive Thinking, Cage Your Rage, Identifying Violence in My Life, and Beyond Anger. Mr.
Smith has also received an associate of science degree and completed vocational training in silk
screening, culinary arts, and barber/cosmetology science. I commend him for taking these
positive steps. But they are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains
unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Smith callously shot Mr. Hancock, an unarmed, 32-year old man who posed no threat to
him. The shooting was entirely unprovoked and senseless. Whatever motive Mr. Smith may
have had for murdering Mr. Hancock is inexplicable.
Despite his years of incarceration, Mr. Smith still exhibits a lack of insight by minimizing his
culpability for the murder. He told the Board at his 2011 parole hearing that he did not intend to
shoot Mr. Hancock and that it was an accident. But Mr. Smith's account of the crime is
inconsistent with both his guilty plea to murder and the official record.
According to the probation officer's report, two ofMr. Smith's three companions told the
investigating officers that before the murder, Mr. Smith said he intended to shoot at the men
fishing on the bridge. According to Mr. Alcorn, Mr. Smith said the best way to shoot people was
to go on fOOl and that Mr. Smith's statement referred to the men on the bridge. The second
companion, James Tumer, stated that Mr. Smith told him, "I'm gonna do him, do him," as they
were walking down the trail. Mr. Alcorn and Mr. Turner made these statements independently
of each other.
The board psychologist who evaluated him in May 2009 found Mr. Smith's claimed remorse to
be disingenuous and his statements to appear "shallow, well-rehearsed, and designed to present
bim in a positive light." The psychologist added that "Despite his claims of remorse and insight,
he continues to present this event as an accident, in stark contrast to information contained in
official documents (including statements from his companions). His description of his behavior
during this crime suggested attempts to minimize or rationalize his actions." Until Mr. Smith
accepts and addresses the reasons why he killed a stranger in cold blood, there is no assurance
that he will not commit further violent acts if released from prison.
The elevated risk assessments the psychologist gave him confirm my concernS. The
psychologist assessed him as posing a medium risk of violent recidivism and general recidivism,
and an overall moderate risk of violence in the free community. The psychologist also
concluded that Mr. Smith meets the criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder, an essential
feature of which "is a pattern of disregard for, and violation of the rights of others, beginning in
adolescence and continuing into adulthood." The psychologist identified Mr. Smith's past
arrests and disposition, punishment for institutional misconduct, failure while on supervised
release, suspension from school, and diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder, all as faciors
that increase his likelihood of future violence.

LaKendall Smith, H-64209
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3

CONCLUSION

I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Smith is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Smith.

~J ~ r7

Decision Date: August 12, 20 II

~_ ~ ~ II ""'""

II u

E
ND~.B WNJR.
Governor, State of California

)

'\

"

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
RANDY CARTER, C-59675
First-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On July 22, 1982, Randy Carter shot and killed 19-year-old Eddie Parker. Mr. Carter had sold
Mr. Parker a car that Mr. Parker failed to fully pay him for. Mr. Carter repossessed the car but
after doing so, someone set the car on fire and destroyed it. Mr. Carter heard that Mr. Parker was
the culprit. Mr. Carter made statements indicating that he intended to kill Mr. Parker.
A few days after his car was burned, Mr. Carter went to an apartment building to visit friends
and had a chance encounter with Mr. Parker. They began to argue and then fight. A friend of
Mr. Carter's observed the situation and gave Mr. Carter a gun. Seeing the gun, Mr. Parker began
to flee. Mr. Carter shot Mr. Parker in the back of the head at a distance of five feel, killing him.
Mr. Carter left the scene on fool and was arrested two weeks later.

GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Carter will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the imnate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (1n re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)

DECISION
The Board found Mr. Carter suitable for parole based on his remorse, his insight into the reasons
he committed the murder, his self-help programming in prison, and his parole plans.
I acknowledge that Mr. Carter has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He
earned a high school diploma in 2001, and vocational certificates in the areas of Alcohol & Drug
Counseling, Painting, and Electronics. He has also pm1icipated in numerous self-help programs,
including: Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous for many years; Men's Violence Prevention
Program; Parenting Skills; the Grey Stone Chapel programs; Faith Based Life Skills and the 12
Weeks Personal Health & Self Enhancement System: Altematives to Violence Programs; Crisis

Randy Carter, C-59675
First-Degree Murder
Page 2
Intervention Counseling; Cognitive Behavior Therapy; Relapse Prevention; Cognitive
Restructuring for Sobriety & Responsibility; Denial Management Counseling; Anger
Management; 8-weeks of Pathways to Sobriety; 4 Project Pride courses; Celebrate Recovery40 Days of Purpose; an 8-week Facilitator Training course through Project Pride; and a 13session course OIl KA TARGEO Going Home. Mr. Carter has also facilitated a domesticviolence program. I commend Mr. Carter for taking these positive strides to improve himself.
But I find they are still cunently outweighed by negative factors that indicate he remains a risk to
society if released from prison.
I am troubled by the senseless and cruel murder Mr. Carter committed. Mr. Carter shot an
unanned man in the back of the head as he was running away. The two had once been friends
yet Mr. Carter still decided to kill him over nothing more than a trivial dispute over a car.
My concems are increased by the fact that the murder was hy no means Mr. Carter's only
criminal or violent act. His criminal behavior began when he was just nine years old, and
included burglaries, thefts, weapons charges, batteries, and a robbery. And his misbehavior
continued into his prison tenn where he incuned II serious rules violations between 1983 and
1987.
I am also concemed by the elevated risk assessments that Mr. Carter received in his 2009
psychological evaluation. The psychologist who evaluated him rated him in the high range for
psychopathy, as a moderate risk of violent recidivism and general recidivism, and a moderate
overall risk for violence in the fTee community. In assigning Mr. Carter these elevated scores,
the psychologist took into account Mr. Carter's extensive juvenile record, the murder, and his
early misbehavior in prison. The psychologist also increased his recidivism risk due to his
"impulsivity based on his history."
In December 2010, an update to the 2009 evaluation was perfonned. The psychologist who
conducted the npdate noted the positive steps Mr. Carter has taken, and found him to have good
insight into the reasons he committed the murder. Nonetheless, the psychologist expressed no
disagreement with the elevated risk assessments from the 2009 report. The psychologist further
opined that "Mr. Carter should benefit from continuing to explore the origins of his thinking,
inability to manage his anger and retaliatory impulses at the time of the murder."
Although Mr. Carter has made genuine efforts to improve himself while in prison, I remain
troubled by the egregious circumstances of the murder. Mr. Carter's extensive criminal history,
and the recent elevated risk assessments. For these reasons, I believe the interests of public
safety require a longer period of incarceration for Mr. Carter to continue his efforts to address the
anger and impulsivity issues that contributed to the murder. I would also like to see another full
psychological evaluation perfonlled that assesses his cunent risk to society after taking into
account his self-help effOJ1s since the 2009 evaluation. With a new evaluation and continued
cffOJ1s to address the issues that caused his criminal and violent behavior, I believe Mr. Carter
will likely soon be able to demonstrate that he is no longer a risk to society.

Randy Carter, C-59675
First-Degree Murder
Page 3

CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Carter is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Carter.

Decision Date: August IS, 20 II

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
GERALD RICHIE, B-88103
First-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On May 17, 1977, Gerald Richie murdered Curtis Lawson. Mr. Richie and Carol Hinkle, both of
whom were heroin addicts, went to Mr. Lawson's furniture store to rob him. Ms. Hinkle
threatened Mr. Lawson with a hunting knife and demanded money. Mr. Lawson gave her the
$30 he had in his wallet. They then ordered Mr. Lawson [0 go with them into his office where
Mr. Lawson sa! on a couch. Mr. Lawson told them he had some money in a drawer. They
searched the office and found some change and one dollar bills in the drawer.
Mr. Lawson tried to run out of the office, but Mr. Richie hit him and knocked him to his hands
and knees. Mr. Richie got on top of him and wrestled with him on the floor. He ordered Ms.
Hinkle to kill him, but when she refused, he said, '[g]ive me the knife, fm going to cut his fuckin'
jugular vein ouC' Ms. Hinkle gave him the knife, and Mr. Richie stabbed and slashed Mr.
Lawson's throat then stabbed Mr. Lawson twice in his back.
Mr. Richie fled from the store while Ms. Hinkle put the money into an envelope. As she ran out
of the store, Mr. Lawson stood up clutching his throat, and followed her. Ms. Hinkle dropped
the money, got into Mr. Richie's car and the two drove away. Once outside, Mr. Lawson fell to
his knees, and called for help. He was able to crawl back inside the store, but succumbed from
his wounds a short time later. The two stab wounds in his back had punctured his lungs and his
left jugular vein was completely severed. Mr. Richie and Ms. Hinkle were arrested the next day.
GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Richie will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and
mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of curren!
dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)

Gerald Richie B-881 03
First-Degree Murder
Page 2

DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Richie suitable for parole based on the passage of time,
his institutional disciplinary history, remorse, acceptance of responsibility, insight, advanced age,
and medical condition.
Mr. Richie has made limited efforts to improve himselfwhi!e incarcerated. He participated in
Alcoholics Anonymous for five years but stopped in 2007. He participated in a welding
program. He also held several institutional jobs until his medical condition prevented him from
working. The few positive steps he has taken are outweighed by negative factors that show he
remains dangerous if released from prison.
The murder Mr. Richie committed was brutal and senseless. He attacked Mr. Lawson, who was
unanned, stabbed him repeatedly, and then left him to die. Mr. Richie and his crime partner
were motivated by their desire for money to buy drugs, a trivial motive especially given the
small amount of money at stake.
I am troubled by the fact that Mr. Richie minimizes his culpability in killing Mr. Lawson. He
told the parole board at his most recent healing that he did not intend to rob Mr. Lawson's store
but rather he went there because Ms. Hinkle "was going to get money from him ... [a ]nd it
turned into something else." But he had admitted to the psychologist who evaluated him less
than six months earlier that he and Ms. Hinkle "mutually agreed to rob" the store.
He told the psychologist that he attacked Mr. Lawson because he was trying to stop him from
beating up Ms. Hinkle. According to Mr. Richie, when he walked into the store, Mr. Lawson
was wrestling with Ms. Hinkle, had her down, and had gotten hold of the knife. Mr. Richie
claims he grabbed the knife and stabbed him on both sides of his body. As Mr. Lawson came up,
Mr. Richie says he stabbed him in the neck "and when he fell forward, the knife cut his throat."
Mr. Richie's story is in conflict with the record and is not credible. It shows that he does not
accept responsibility for the murder or fully understand the wrongfulness of his actions.
The psychologist concluded that My. Richie "has not meaningfully examined all of the factors at
play during the life crime" and that he lacks adequate insight into the reasons he murdered My.
Lawson, his potential for violence, or his substance abuse. The psychologist found that his lack
of insight "suggests some unresponsiveness to treatment designed to ameliorate such problems."
Mr. Richie admitted that he tries to avoid thinking about the crime, and the only explanation he
could offer for the murder was that he was "[bJeing an idiot." I agree with the psychologist that
"it is likely that there are some deeper reasons for his violent reaction."
Mr. Richie's stated remorse for the victim and his family also secms shallow. Although he
acknow ledged that he hanned the victim's family, he "was unable to specifically identify or
imagine the ways in which the family has been impacted." And he admitted that he has never
cried about the crime or anything else in his )ife.

Gerald Richie B-881 03
First-Degree Murder
Page 3
I am also concemed that Mr. Richie's limited participation in self-help programming to address
his history of substance abuse problems has not been sufficient, especially given the severity of
his prior drug problems and the fact that he committed the murder while addicted to heroin.
Finally, my concem that Mr. Richie remains dangerous is supported by the elevated risk
assessment scores the psychologist assigned to him during his 2010 evaluation. The
psychologist rated him as being in the moderate range for psychopathy, as posing a moderate risk
of violent recidivism, a high risk of general recidivism, and an overall moderate risk for violence
in the free community.
Until Mr. Richie confronts and deals with the problems that caused him to brutally murder Mr.
Lawson, he will remain a threat to public safety. I encourage him to resume participation in
substance-abuse treatment, and to seek out programs and other ways to examine and address the
reasons for his violent and criminal behavior.

CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Richie is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Richie.

Decision Date: August 18, 2011

1

INDETERMINA TE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
EPIT ACINO CORTINA, H-26475
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On November 15, 1991, Epitacino Cortina murdered Juan Bravo. Mr. Cortina, Mr. Bravo,
Timothy Nunez, and two others had planned to rob Cortina's step-brother's house. After staking
out the house, Mr. Bravo decided he did not want to participate in the robbery. Mr. Cortina beat
him with a baseball bat and then stabbed him with a knife 31 times for refusing to participate in
the robbery. Mr. Bravo died as a result of the attack. Mr. Cortina put his body in the trunk of a
car and drove with Mr. Nunez to a vacant lot. Mr. Cortina dumped Mr. Bravo's body in the lot,
then drove over his body with the car.
GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Cortina will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, ) must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the imnate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181,1214.)
DECISION
) acknowledge that Mr. Cortina has made some efforts to improve hirnselfwhile incarcerated.
He earned a General Equivalency Diploma in 200 I. He participated in Alcoholics Anonymous
(2003 and 2005); Narcotics Anonymous in 2003; Life Development Skills classes; Transition
Housing Mentoring Program; Conflict!Anger Management CALM Program (as a facilitator); and
Friends Outside Parenting Program. He has also held several instltutional jobs. ) commend Mr.
Cortina for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by negative factors that
demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
The brutal and vicious nature of the murder Mr. Cortina committed is shocking. He beat Mr.
Bravo 10-12 times with a baseball bat, stabbed him 31 times, then ran over his body with his car.
Whatever motive Mr. Cortina had for murdering Mr. Bravo was either inexplicable or very
trivial in relation to the magnitude of the offense.

Epitacino Cortina, B-76340
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2

Mr. Cortina's account of the crime shows that he does not accept full responsibility for the
murder he committed. Contrary to the official record and the accounts of several witnesses, he
denies that he stabbed Mr. Bravo. By failing to acknowledge perhaps the most vicious and lethal
aspect of the crime, Mr. Cortina's account tends to minimize his culpability for the murder. In
addition, in a letter to the victim's family Mr. Cortina wrote in 2006, he stated, ''I'm writing this
letter to you for having played a part in the death of your loved one." He didn't "playa part," he
killed the victim. This minimization of his role undermines his expression of remorse.
The conclusions ofthe psychologist who evaluated him in 2009 support my concerns. The
psychologist assessed him as posing a "moderate" risk of violent recidivism, a "moderate" risk
of general recidivism, and an overall "low-moderate" risk of violence in the free community.
The psychologist also concluded that he meets the criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder,
which is defined as "a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others
that begins in childhood or adolescence and continues into adulthood." These elevated risk
assessment scores coupled with Mr. Cortina's minimization of his role in the murder cause me
concern that he would still pose a risk to society if released from prison.
Mr. Cortina's participation in self-help programs has been insufficient. Mr. Cortina has a history
of substance abuse problems. Despite his prior drug and alcohol abuse, he is not currently
enrolled in programming to address these issues. And in his nearly twenty years in prison, he
only participated in alcohol or substance abuse counseling programs in 2003 and 2005. Given
that Mr. Cortina was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine when he committed the murder,
he needs to demonstrate a meaningful commitment to address his prior substance abuse through
self-help programming, to help ensure that he will be able to cope with these issues when he is
released from the controlled prison environment.

CONCLUSION:
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Cortina is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Cortina.

Decision Date: August 19, 2011

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
RODRIGO A VILA, H-77930
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On April 20, 1991, Rodrigo Avila was riding in a car with a group of fellow gang members,
including Marco Rodriguez. Mr. A vila, who was riding in the back seat, handed a rifle to Mr.
Rodriguez in the front passenger seat. The group came across Vincent Gomez, Jose Martinez
and a few other men standing on the side of a street. They believed the men were rival gang
members. Mr. Rodriguez pointed the rifle out the car window and opened fire on the men. A
bullet struck Mr. Gomez in the head and killed him. Mr. Martinez was also shot but survived.
Later that same day, Lawrence Washington, Alejandro Moreno, Jessie Ledesma, and Derrick
Thomhill were standing on the side of a street when Mr. Avila and his fellow gang members
drove by. Believing these men were also rival gang members, Mr. Rodribruez fired multiple
rounds from the rifle at them. A bullet hit Mr. Washington in the head and killed him. Mr.
Moreno, Mr. Thornhill, and Mr. Ledesma were also shot but survived.

GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. A vila will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the imnate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (1n re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)

DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Avila suitable for parole based on his insight into the
causes of his criminal behavior, remorse, viable parole plans, vocational training, institutional
work record, and participation in self-help programs.

Rodrigo Avila, H-77930
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
I acknowledge Mr. Avila has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He completed
vocational training in carpentry, held institutional jobs, and participated in self-help programs
such as Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, Cage Your Rage, a Life Skill course, Anger
Management, Life Without a Crutch seminar, Wellness Program, Inter-Faith Relationship
Workshop, Educational Recovery, a Success After Prison course, a Moyers on Addiction course,
an Importance of Fatherhood course, Beat the Streets substance abuse prevention course and
Making Anger Work For You. I commend Mr. Avila for taking these positive steps. But they
are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Avila participated in two drive-by shootings that resulted in the death of two people and
serious injury to four others. He belonged to a street gang and was on probation at the time of
the murders after serving time in a juvenile facility for armed robbery. In prison, he stabbed an
inmate in 1995 and participated in a riot in 2001.
In recent years, Mr. Avila has shown signs of improvement. But he still has some work to do in
gaining insight into the crime and his past criminal behavior. The psychologist who perfonned
his 2010 psychological evaluation found that he attempted to minimize his role in the life crime
and justify his actions with regard to the murders and his disciplinary record. The psychologist
found that Mr. Avila's statements regarding the murders and criminal past did not reflect
significant levels of introspection, that he had yet to examine the internal factors that led him to
make the choices that he made, and that he "had much work ahead of him" in order to face,
discuss, and come to terms with the faetors that led to the life crime.
Similarly, in discussing the crime with Mr. Avila, the psychologist found his statements of
remorse for the murders appeared superficial and limited in scope. He could only identify the
two men who were murdered and appeared to have given little thought to the four other victims
who were injured in the shootings. The psychologist concluded that Mr. Avila had little insight
and had been largely unresponsive to self-help treatment.
Based in large part on Mr. Avila's history of violence and limited insight, his recent risk
assessment scores indicate he poses a "moderate" risk of violent recidivism, a "medium-high"
risk of general recidivism, and overall is "moderate" risk for violence in the free community.
Further, the psychologist diagnosed him with Antisocial Personality Disorder and found that he
rated in the "moderate" range for psychopathy, both of which increase his risk of future violence.
Mr. Avila's most recent Rules Violation Reports in 2004 and 2005 for obstructing correctional
officers in their duties also are cause for concern. In both instances, Mr. Avila refused to exit his
cell for count as part of a mass protest. When asked about the 2005 incident during his
psychological evaluation, Mr. Avila justified his behavior saying he did not agree with the
protest but that he had to do what other inmate said. This susceptibility to peer pressure is
troubling in light of his history of gang-related violence.
Mr. Avila's history of violence, his inadequate insight and remorse, his elevated risk
assessments, and his most recent misconduct in prison indicates that he continues to pose an
unacceptable risk if released to the community.

Rodrigo Avila, H-77930
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3

CONCLUSION

I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Avila is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Avila.

Decision Date: August 26, 20 I J

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 304l.2)
CLAYTON LEFEVRE, D-209S2
First-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On August 20, 1984, Clayton LeFevre and Dennis Rollins decided to rob Gary Schulman, who
lived next door to Mr. LeFevre's mother. They wanted to take his car. Mr. LeFevre and Mr.
Rollins went to Mr. Schulman's apartment and knocked on the door. When Mr. Schulman
answered, they bound Mr. Schulman's hands and forced him into his car. Mr. LeFevre then
drove Mr. Rollins and Mr. Schulman to a remote area. Once there, Mr. Rollins forced Mr.
Shulman out ofthe car while Mr. LeFevre remained in the car. Mr. Schulman was barefoot and
wearing only a pair of shorts. After walking some distance, Mr. Rollins shot Mr. Schulman four
times, killing him. Mr. Rollins and Mr. LeFevre fled to Utah where they burned Mr. Schulman's
car. The police found Mr. Schulman's body several days later.
GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. LeFevre will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
ofthe crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th I I 81, 1214.)
DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. LeFevre suitable for parole based on his conduct in
prison, his remorse, insight, age, vocational training, and selfhelp.
I acknowledge that Mr. LeFevre has made efforts to improve himself in prison. He graduated
from high school, completed vocational training in mill and cabinetry, and gained marketable
skills in welding and plumbing. He has also held several institutional jobs and participated in
self-help programs including Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, and Breaking Barriers. I
commend Mr. LeFevre for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by negative
factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.

Clayton LeFevre, D-20982
First-Degree Murder
Page 2
Mr. LeFevre and his crime partner killed Mr. Schulman in a cruel manner that showed no regard
for his life. They kidnapped him from his home, took him to a remote area, marched him
barefoot into the woods, and executed him. Their motive of stealing his car is trivial in relation
to the murder they committed.
Mr. LeFevre still fails to accept full responsibility for his actions. He told the parole board at his
20 I I parole hearing that he did not intend for Mr. Schulman to be killed and that he did not
know Mr. Rollins had killed him until Mr. Rollins confessed to him when they reached Utah. He
also told the panel that he heard only two gunshots and believed Mr. Rollins initial story that he
tied Mr. Schulman to a tree and he shot twice just to stop Mr. Schulman from running away. Mr.
LeFevre also told the panel that he could not believe that Mr. Rollins had actually killed Mr.
Schulman because "I didn't think he was that type of a person."
Mr. LeFevre's story not only attempts to shift blame for the murder on his crime partner, but is
not credible. It defies reason that Mr. LeFevre would have heard two ofthe shots Mr. Rollins
fired, but not the other two as well. It is also disingenuous for Mr. leFevre to claim that he had
no idea that they were going to kill Mr. Schulman. Even ifthey had actually only tied Mr.
Schulman to a tree (as Mr. LeFevre claims was the plan), Mr. Schulman would have almost
certainly still died from starvation or nature given the remoteness of the area.
Mr. LeFevre is not required to admit guilt to be found suitable for parole. But the record does
not support his version of the crime and I do not find it to be plausible or to reflect an
understanding of the true reasons he and his crime partner decided to murder Mr. Schulman.
Until Mr. LeFevre understands the reasons he participated in the murder, and takes steps to
address those issues, there is no assurance that he no longer presents a threat to society.
My concern that Mr. LeFevre remains dangerous is supported by his most recent risk assessment
scores. The psychologist assessed him in the "moderate" level of psychopathy, as posing a
"moderate" risk of violent recidivism, a ''moderate'' risk of general recidivism, and an overall
"moderate" risk of violence in the free community. The psychologist also concluded that he
meets the criteria for Personality Disorder, an essential feature of which is "an enduring pattern
of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual's
culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over
time, and leads to distress or impairment."
CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence relevant to whether Mr. LeFevre remains dangerous. Mr.
LeFevre's elevated risk assessment scores coupled with his inadequate insight indicate that he
still poses a risk to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole
Mr. LeFevre.

Decision Date: August 26, 2011

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
JAVIER NUNEZ C-19157
First-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On August 28, 1979, Javier Nunez and George Zavala murdered Joseph Trend!. Mr. Zavala and
Mr. Nunez were drinking beer with three other friends at Mr. Zavala's house. They ran out of
beer and wanted more but did not have money to buy it. Mr. Zavala suggested stealing beer
from Buster's Cafe by threatening the owner, Mr. Trend!. They chose Mr. Trendt, who was 63
years old, because they believed he would not put up much resistance. Mr. Zavala and Mr.
Nunez anned themselves with knives and arrived at the cafe just as Mr. Trendt was closing.
Upon entering the cafe, they attacked and repeatedly stabbed him. They then took about $65
from the cash register and left Mr. Trendt to bleed to death. Mr. Trendt had 65 stab wounds in
his ann, head, neck, back, chest and stomach.

GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Nunez will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that tbe circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)

DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Nunez suitable for parole based on his remorse, the
passage of time, his institutional disciplinary history, vocational training, and parole plans.
I acknowledge that Mr. Nunez has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He
eamed a high school diploma in 1986. He has participated in Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics
Anonymous, the Crime Impact Program, Altematives to Violence, Breaking Barriers, Impulse
Control Group, Violence Potential Group, and Creative Options Anger Management. He also
completed vocational training in fumiture upholstery, mill and cabinetry, roofing and carpentry,
and graduated from the air engine program. I commend Mr. Nunez for taking these positive
steps. But they are outweighed by negative factors that show he remains unsuitable for parole.

Javier Nunez, C-19157
First-Degree Murder
Page 2

The savage nature of the murder Mr. Nunez committed is troubling. He and Mr. Zavala
mercilessly stabbed an innocent, unanned man an unconscionable number of times and then left
him to die. And it was all motivated by their trivial desire to get money to buy more beer.
Mr. Nunez has not shown that he adequately understands the reasons he committed such a
violent murder. During his 2010 psychological evaluation, he told the psychologist that he felt
peer pressure from his older friends. He expressed anger and disappointment in his friends for
putting him in that situation. He also said that he felt that he needed "give back" to his to friends
because he had no money to pitch in for the beer. Peer pressure and feeling obliged to contribute
for beer he drank might account for why he agreed to participate in the robbery, but do not begin
to explain why he murdered Mr. Trendt in such a violent manner. By placing blame on his
friends and peer pressure, he minimizes his culpability for the murder.
At his recent parole hearing, Mr. Nunez offered a different explanation. He told the Board that
he killed Mr. Trendt because he wanted to protect his crime partner's identity and because he
was angry with his family members, his girlfriend, and people who called him names. He said
he had not mentioned this anger earlier because he has forgiven everyone. Mr. Nunez's
changing explanations appear superficial and do not provide a genuine explanation of why Mr.
Nunez decided to take Mr. Trendt's life.
It also appears that Mr. Nunez is not being honest about the crime. He claims that "it happened

so fast" he had no idea of how many times he stabbed Mr. Trendt, except to say that he stabbed
him "one too many times." Mr. Nunez's claimed lack of memory appears disingenuous because
as the deputy commissioner pointed out at the hearing, "it takes a long time to stab someone" 65
times. Mr. Nunez also told the psychologist who evaluated him in 2010 that a1coholmade him
feel relaxed on the night of the murder. But the psychologist observed that, "[t)he details of the
crime ... suggested the opposite of a relaxed state." She opined that Mr. Nunez is not
acknowledging his true state of mind during the murder: "[t)here was a level of rage that Mr.
Nunez has yet to explain as indicated by 65 stab wounds to the victim."
The tone and manner ofMr. Nunez's responses to the psychologist also indicate that he lacks
adequate insight or genuine remorse. The psychologist remarked that "[t)here were no
observable emotions as Mr. Nunez spoke of the victim or of his actions that resulted in the loss
oflife." She concluded that he has "yet to divulge his understanding of' the reasons he
participated in stabbing the victim so many times, and his 'explanation of what it meant to have
insight into the murder, "seemed rote and lacked significant details." The psychologist further
observed that "he did not discuss ways in which he discovered the roots of his anger, why he
projected that degree of rage onto the victim (multiple stab wounds), and how he has reconciled
those feelings with strategies for appropriate expression of anger and its management."
Mr. Nunez's recent elevated risk assessments con finn my concems, He was assessed to be in the
moderate range for psychopathy, as a low-moderate risk of violent recidivism, a medium risk of
general recidivism, and an overall low-moderate risk for violence in the free community.

Javier Nunez, C-19157
First-Degree Murder
Page 3
Ultimately, I agree with the psychologist's assessment that "Mr. Nunez had some more work
ahead of him in order to honestly face, confront, and discuss the causative factors of the life
crime beyond a superficial explanation that continues to reflect primarily external factors (e.g.
older peers pressured him). It did not appear that he was particularly cognizant of that need."
Because he has not yet done this work, I am concerned that he remains prone to committing
further acts of violence if he were to be released from prison.
CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Nunez is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society ifreJeased from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Nunez.

Decision Date: August 26, 2011

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
CORBY SARGENT, H-16868
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On April 21, 1991, Corby Sargent and three fuends were at a party where Mr. Corby consumed
beer, LSD, and methamphetamines. Mr. Corby and his friends were gang members. The group
left the party and started traveling to a nearby town in a car driven by Mr. Sargent. On the way,
they drove by a telephone booth that Joe Salgado and his 15 year-old brother were using. Mr.
Sargent pulled over and yelled something at Mr. Salgado. The two exchanged words, and Mr.
Salgado walked toward Mr. Sargent's car. When Mr. Salgado got within three or four feet of the
car, he bent over to see who was in it. Mr. Sargent took a 12-guage sawed-off shotgun and shot
Mr. Salgado in the face and chest and then laughed as he and his fuends drove away from the
scene. Mr. Salgado died seven hours later.
GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Sargent will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the imnate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)
DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Sargent suitable for parole based on his remorse,
insight, self-help programming, and parole plans.
I acknowledge that Mr. Sargent has made some efforts to improve himself while incarcerated.
He eamed a General Equivalency Diploma in 1997. He participated in some self-help programs
such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Victims Awareness Offenders Program, a Lifestyle and
Addiction workshop, an Anger Management workshop, and Criminal & Gangmembers
Anonymous. He has also completed vocational training in welding and cabinetmaking and held
several institutional jobs. I commend Mr. Sargent for taking these positive steps. But they are
outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.

Corby Sargent, H-16868
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
The murder Mr. Sargent committed was senseless and cruel. Mr. Sargent targeted an innocent
stranger, yelled at him, then callously shot him at pointblank range in front of his teenage
brother. Whatever motive Mr. Sargent had for murdering Mr. Salgado is inexplicable.
Mr. Sargent still minimizes his culpability for the murder. He told the parole board at his most
recent hearing that after he pulled over and Mr. Salgado approached the car, his car would not
move. He said when he pulled out his shotgun and fired it, he did not intend to shoot Mr.
Salgado, but only intended to shoot into the air. He also suggested to both the parole board and
his recent psychological evaluator that he thought Mr. Salgado was armed with a weapon. Mr.
Sargent's story attempts to shift blame to Mr. Salgado, and suggests that Mr. Sargent was only
intending to scare Mr. Salgado away. Also, his suggestion that the killing was accidental is not
believable in light of the facts that Mr. Sargent targeted Mr. Salgado, pulled off the road to
harass him, and then laughed about fatally shooting him. Mr. Sargent's claim that his car would
not move when Mr. Salgado approached is also not believable given the fact that he had just
pulled over and as soon as he shot Mr. Salgado, he sped away. Further undermining his
credibility is the flippancy he displayed at his parole hearing. When the commissioner asked Mr.
Sargent ifhe was claiming that he was going to shoot in the air, Mr. Sargent replied, "I guess."
The only other explanation Mr. Sargent has offered for the murder is that he was "wasted" on
drugs and alcohol. But being intoxicated by drugs and alcohol does not explain why he would
target, harass, then ruthlessly kill a perfect stranger. Until Mr. Sargent confronts and deals with
the true reasons he murdered Mr. Salgado, there is no assurance that he is no longer prone to
violence if released from prison.
The elevated risk assessments he received during his most recent psychological evaluation
support my concerns. The psychologist assessed him as posing a "moderate" risk of violent
recidivism, a "medium" risk of general recidivism, and an overall "low-moderate" risk of
violence in the free community. The psychologist diagnosed him with Antisocial Personal
Disorder, an essential feature of which is "a pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of
others since age 15 as indicated by his failure to confonn to social norms, impulsivity, aggressive
behavior, and actions that have implied a reckless disregard for the safety of himself and others."

CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence relevant to whether Mr. Sargent is currently dangerous. Mr.
Sargent's elevated risk assessment scores, his minimization of culpability, and his inadequate
insight when considered together with the circumstances of the murder indicate that he would
still pose a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole
Mr. Sargent.

Decision Date: August 26, 20 II

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
TODD FERGUSON, C-7S013
Second-degree murder, Attempted Murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On December 30, 1981, Todd Ferguson, Burl Biyeu, and Shane Quinell went to rob a liquor
store where Mr. Ferguson had previously worked. Mr. Ferguson had recently been fired from his
job at the store. According to the record, Mr, Biyeu and Mr. Quinell went into the store with
rifles that Mr. Ferguson had stolen from his father, They were both wearing ski masks. Mr.
Ferguson, who was the getaway driver, remained in the car. Richard Philbert and Michael Clark
were working at the store at the time. Upon entering the store, Mr, Bilyeu and Mr, Quinell
ordered them to lock the front doors, then herded them into the cold storage box in the rear of the
store. Once there, Mr, Bilyeu and Mr. Quinell took their wallets and ordered them to kneel on
the floor and place their coats over their heads. Mr. Bilyeu and Mr. Quinell then shot both men
repeatedly. Mr, Philbert was killed and fell limp onto Mr. Clark. Mr, Clark was hit with bullets
all over his body, but was not killed.
After the shooting stopped for a few minutes, Mr. Clark opened his eyes and saw one of the
assailants standing over him. The assailant asked if he was going to remember anything. Mr.
Clark replied "no." The assailant said, "you're right," then shot him at point blank range in the
chest and the face. The assailants fled the store and Mr. Ferguson drove them away.
Although Mr, Clark was shot 13 times, he somehow survived, and was able to make his way to
the front ofthc store. He was able to summon help by dialing the telephone with his nose
because his hands had been incapacitated from the shooting. Mr. Clark lives with pain,
numbness, scarring on his hands and amlS, and bullets that remain in his body.

GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Ferguson is currently a danger to the public. In
answering this question, I must examine the same record that was before the Board of Parole
Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances of the crime can provide
evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the
inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and mental state,
indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In rc
Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4 th 1181, 1214.) In rare circumstances, the aggravated nature of the
crime alone can provide a valid basis for denying parole even when there is strong evidence of
rehabilitation and no other evidence of current dangerousness. (ld. at pp. 1211, 1214.)

Todd Ferguson, C-75013
Second-Degree Murder, Attempted Murder
Page 2

DECISION
I acknowledge that Mr, Ferguson has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He
eamed a General Equivalency Degree and an Associate of Arts Degree in Business
Administration. He has participated in programming to improve himself including Alcoholics
Anonymous, a 12-Week addiction recovery program, anger management Cage Your Rage, and
several others. He has also taken and completed several vocational training programs. I
commend Mr, Ferguson for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by negative
factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
The murder in which Mr, Ferguson participated was senseless and shockingly violent. The
perpetrators marched Mr, Philbert and Mr. Clark into the cold storage box, ordered them to
kneeL covered their heads, and then without hesitation began unloading their bullets into them.
Mr. Philbert was executed. Although Mr. Clark somehow survived, he has severely suffered
from the injuries he sustained throughout the remainder of his life. I believe the aggravated
nature of this murder and attempted murder is of such an extreme nature that it should warrant
his continued incarceration in prison.
But I also do not find Mr. Ferguson's explanation for these murders to be plausible. He and his
crime partners had committed other robberies during this same time frame yet none of the other
robbery victims were harmed. Mr, Ferguson targeted this particular liquor store because he
worked there but had been fired. The assailants were wearing ski masks so they had no reason to
execute the two store clerks to protect their identities. And it appears that there was no hesitation
in their decision to immediately march the two victims into the cold storage box and execute
them. I do not find it plausible that Mr. Ferguson claims to have no knowledge of why the
assailants executed one victim and attempted to execute the other. I find that his explanation of
the crime minimizes his culpability for the murders. Until he gives an honest and plausible
account of his role in this horrific crime, I believe he remains a threat to society.
I also acknowledge that Mr. Clark and the Mr. Philbert's wife, children, and sister opposed Mr.
Ferguson's parole and expressed fear for the safety of their family ifhe is released. Given the
vicious nature ofMr. Ferguson's crime, I cannot discount their concerns.

CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr, Ferguson is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Ferguson.

Decision Date: September 2, 2011

EDM£tl!l" biD ~ '\
Governor, State of Califol11ia

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
HAMPTON FINNEY, D-70607
First-degree murder

AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On December 5, 1981, Hampton Finney, James Ree, and Mr. Ree's 15-year-01d son, Tim,
planned to rob the Arastoozad family home and steal their oriental rugs. Armed with automatic
rifles, they drove together in a large orange van to the Arastoozad's residence and pretended to
deliver a Christmas tree. When they werc refused entry, they waited outside the house for other
members of the Arastoozad family to return home. A friend of the Arastoozads drove up the
driveway. One ofMr. Finney's crime partners ordered the friend and the other passengers in the
car at gunpoint to get out and go inside the house. As they approached the front door, Shahram
Arastoozad's mother opened it and started screaming. Mr. Finney pushed her back and hit her
on the head with his rifle, knocking her down, and forced his way into the house. Hearing his
mother's scream, Shahram Arastoozad ran in the direction of the scream, from the back of the
house, toward Mr. Finney. Mr. Finney shot Mr. Arastoozad in the head, killing him.
Mr. Finney and his crime p311nerS fled the scene. He was not arrested until three years later.

GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Finney will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state. indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181,1214.)

DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Finney suitable for parole hased on his good behavior
in prison. his insight p311icipation in self-help courses. age, education, and vocational training.
I acknowledge that Mr. Finney has made some efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He
obtained three Associate of Arts degrees, and completed vocational training in graphic arts. Mr.
Finney also participated in self-help programs such as Life Skills GrouP. IMPACT Program,

Hampton Finney, D-70607
First-Degree Murder
Page 2
Alternatives to Violence Project, Anger Workshop, Victim Offender Reeducation Program,
Prison Fellowship Program, and 40 Days of Purpose, I commend him for taking these positive
steps, but they are outweighed by negative factors that show he remains unsuitable for parole.
The murder Mr. Finney committed was horrific and senseless. He brutally hit Mrs. Arastoozad
with his rifle, then mercilessly shot her unarmed son in the head in front of his family and
friends. Mr. Finney and his crime pm1ners' motive-stealing oriental carpets-was very trivial
in relation to the offense.
Despite many years of incarceration and numerous self-help courses, Mr. Finney still minimizes
his culpability for the murder. He opted not to discuss the murder at his most recent parole
hearing and psychological evaluation. The last time he spoke about it was during his 2008
psychological evaluation and 2008 parole hearing. During that evaluation, he claimed to have
been misled by his crime partners into thinking that they were simply going to burglarize the
home when no one was there. He said he agreed to participate because he was trying to help his
friend out, He claimed he did not know guns would be involved. I do not find this self-serving
account plausible. But even if true, when he arrived at the home he clearly saw that the
Arastoozads were home. He then says that he only reluctantly took the gun when his crime
partner insisted that he take it because he was fearful his crime partner would kill him. Then
rather than admit that he brutally struck Mrs. Arastoozad on the head with his rifle, knocking her
to the floor and causing her to scream, Mr. Finney told the psychologist that, "I inadvertently hit
one of them with the gun."
Continuing his narrative, he said, "then I saw one of them coming down the hallway. And I was
scared and I turned and I shot. I was scared of the person rmming towards me. I was scared
through the whole thing. If you lay guns on the table, I wouldn't even know which was which."
When Mr. Finney spoke about the shooting at his 2008 parole hearing, he said "I was in the
wrong place doing the wrong thing when someone ran toward me. I just pulled the trigger."
I find Mr. Finney's account entirely implausible and disingenuous. He characterizes himself as a
scared, unwitting, and reluctant participant in a robbery. He claims that he was simply trying to
perfonn an act of kindness by helping Mr. Ree commit a burglary. Next he claims that he did
not anticipate that his crime partner would have a gun or expect him to use one to commit the
crime. Then he says that he hit Mr. Arastoozad's mother simply by accident (when, in fact, she
was hit on the head and knocked down). And last, Mr. Finney claims that he shot Mr.
Arastoozad out of fear and that he did not know anything about guns. It is utterly unbelievable
that Mr. Finney was scared of an unarmed man who was responding to his mother's scream,
when Mr. Finney and his crime partners were holding everyone at gunpoint. His statements
strain credulity and are all clearly calculated to minimize his culpability for the heartless murder
he committed.
I also do not find Mr. Finney to be genuinely remorseful. For three years after the murder before
he was arrested, Mr. Finney went about his life as if nothing had happened. I find it telling that
when he was finally apprehended, Mr. Finney not only proclaimed his innocence, he fabricated
an alibi about having spent the evening of the murder at a family party with his minister. And he

Hampton Finney, D-70607
First-Degree Murder
Page 3
claimed that he was being wrongfully investigated and threatened to go to the news media to
bring publicity to his case. These actions displayed no remorse for his actions and a total
disregard for the suffering he caused. They are consistent with the characteristics that the 2008
psychological evaluator found he still possessed when he rated Mr. Finney as having' elevated
findings for glibness/superficial charm, a grandiose sense of self W0l1h, lack of remorse or guilt,
irresponsibility, shallow affect, and a callous lack of empathy. Although the psychologist
described these elevated findings as "mild," I find them consistent with the statements and
actions that I have described, and probative of a still dangerous frame of mind.
Until Mr. Finney accepts full responsibility for his decision to senselessly murder Mr.
Arastoozad, and shows genuine remorse for the pain he caused, I find he is still prone to
committing further acts of violence.

CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Filmey is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Finney.

Decision Date: September 2,2011

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
DARIUS VANLANDINGHAM, J-49411
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On May 3,1994, Darius Vanlandingham was drinking at a bar with his brother and a friend.
Edel Lizarraga, 23 years old, was at the same bar with his friends. Mr. Lizarraga had consumed
several beers that evening and went to use the men's room. As Mr. Lizarraga walked by Mr.
Vanlandingham, who was playing pool at an adjacent table, Mr. Lizarraga made antagonistic
comments. At one point, one ofMr. Lizarraga's friends tried to dissolve some of the tension by
apologizing to Mr. Vanlandingham for Mr. Lizarraga's behavior. Mr. Lizarraga and Mr.
Vanlandingham left the bar at the same time. Once outside the bar, Mr. Vanlandingham walked
up to Mr. Lizarraga with a .38 caliber automatic pistol in his hand and pointed it at the ground.
Mr. Lizarraga told Mr. Vanlandingham that he was not afraid of him and punched him in the
face. They both feIl to the ground and started wrestling over the gun. The gun fired twice,
hitting Mr. Lizarraga in the upper right leg and severing his femur. Mr. Vanlandingham's
brother and friend puJled Mr. Lizarraga off Mr. Vanlandingham. As they restrained Mr.
Lizarraga, Mr. Vanlandingham told them to stand aside. Mr. Vanlandingham stood next to Mr.
Lizarraga, as he was kneeling on the ground, and shot Mr. Lizarraga at very close range in the
upper-left chest and shoulder. The bullet perforated Mr. Lizarraga's heart and kiIled him.
GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Vanlandingham will pose a current danger to the
public if released from prison. In answering this question, 1 must examine the same record that
was before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The
circumstances of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also
establishes that something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's
current demeanor and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative
of current dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181,1214.)
DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Vanlandingham suitable for parole based on his
remorse, acceptance of responsibility, participation in self-help, vocational training, and parole
plans.

Darius Vanlandingham, 1-49411
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
I acknowledge that Mr. Vanlandingham has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated,
He completed several vocational-training courses and participated in various self-help programs,
Some of them include Wellness Program, Cage Your Rage, Effective Decision Making, and
Alcoholics Anonymous, J commend Mr. Vanlandingham for taking these positive steps, But
they are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole,
For inexplicable reasons, Mr. Vanlandingham committed a cowardly and vicious murder of a
vulnerable young man, His violent act of aggression was completely disproportionate to a
relatively minor confrontation,
Despite many years of self-help programming in prison and irrefutable evidence, Mr.
Vanlandingham has still not fully acknowledged responsibility for the crime, During his most
recent psychological evaluation, Mr. Vanlandingham told the psychologist that at no time he had
any intention to kill Mr. Lizarraga, Instead, he claims that he only intended to shoot him. Mr.
Vanlandingham's claim is so preposterous that to accept his statement as true would require me
to totally ignore the facts of the case, The autopsy report for Mr. Lizarraga revealed that he was
shot at very close range, At the very least, Mr. Vanlandingham had to know that shooting him in
the upper shoulder and chest would be fatal. And J believe that Mr. Vanlandingham intended
that it be so,
Mr. Vanlandingham continues to minimize his role in the murder and fails to accept
responsibility for the full extent of his actions. Mr. Vanlandingham is not required to admit guilt
to be found suitable for parole (Cal. Pen, Code § 5011), But I am not obligated to accept his
version of the crime as fact, and I do not. By minimizing his role in the crime and refusing to
accept responsibility, he shows that he lacks insight into why he committed the crime and lacks
remorse for his actions, His current mental state therefore indicates that he is still prone to
committing further acts of violence.
CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Vanlandingham is
currently dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows
why he currently poses a danger to society if released from prison, Therefore, I reverse the
decision to parole Mr. Vanlandingham,

Decision Date: September 2, 20 II
OWN JR,
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
BRICE GLASGOW C-26529
First-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODlFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On March I, 1980, Brice Glasgow shot his niece, Patricia Walts, and shot and killed her
boyfriend, Ralph Collins. Ms. Walls was eight-months pregnant at the time. On the day of the
murder, Mr. Glasgow armed himself with a gun and went to Ms. Walls' apartment. Mr. Collins
was asleep in a bedroom. A short time after arriving, Mr. Glasgow's friend, Edmund Duhart,
knocked on the backdoor. Mr. Glasgow let him in and together they walked toward the bedroom
where Mr. Collins was sleeping. Ms. Watts saw Mr. Glasgow holding the gun and ran to the
bedroom, attempting to wake Mr. Collins up and protect him. Mr. Glasgow forced his way into
the bedroom and began to shoot at Mr. Collins. Mr. Duhart tried to pull Ms. Walls off Mr.
Collins, but she was in the line of fire and a bullet struck her back. Mr. Glasgow shot Mr.
Collins in the back, head, and abdomen. Ms. Walls and her unborn child survived the gunshot,
but Mr. Collins died at the scene. Mr. Glasgow was arrested later that day.
A year before the murder, Mr. Collins had gOllen into a fight with Mr. Glasgow and beaten him
up. Since his arrest, Mr. Glasgow has maintained that he was trying to protect Ms. Walls
because Mr. Collins was abusing her.

GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Glasgow will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)

DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Glasgow suitable for parole based on his participation
in self-help, positive institutional behavior, the passage of time, remorse, and acceptance of
responsibility for the murder.

Brice Glasgow, C-26529
First-Degree Murder
Page 2
I acknowledge that ML Glasgow has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated, He
earned a General Equivalency Diploma in 1990, He has participated in Narcotics Anonymous
and Alcoholics Anonymous, He also participated in self-help programs such as Life Skills,
Alternatives to Violence, IMPACT, Relapse Prevention, Inmate Employability Program, Anger
Management, and Balanced Re-entry Activity Group, ML Glasgow has also held several
institutional jobs as a textile worker, auto repair worker, yard worker, wing porter, and dininghall workeL I commend ML Glasgow for taking these positive steps, But they are outweighed
by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole,
In committing the life crime, Mr. Glasgow displayed a reckless disregard for human life, He not
only murdered ML Collins who had been asleep in bed, he also shot his pregnant niece who he
claims he was trying to protect Whatever ML Glasgow's motive for murdering ML Collins, it
was exceedingly trivial in magnitude to the offense,
Since the time of his arrest and throughout his incarceration, ML Glasgow has not displayed an
understanding of the reasons he committed the murdeL ML Glasgow initially claimed self
defense, Upon his arrest, Mr. Glasgow told authorities that ML Collins had attacked him with a
gun in the hallway outside the bedroom, He claimed that the gun went off as they struggled and
that the bullets struck ML Collins and Ms, Watts, This version is contradicted by the evidence,
ML Collins' body was found lying on the floor of the bedroom where he had slept, not the
hallway where ML Glasgow claimed that the gun discharged,
ML Glasgow gave a different account in 2008, He claimed that he had a gun and that he drew it
when he saw ML Collins in the hallway brandishing a gun as well. ML Glasgow said that he did
not intend to kill ML Collins, only to whip and beat him with the pistol, but that "things got
beyond my control." Three years later ML Glasgow changed his story yet again, During his
psychological evaluation in 2011 he told the psychologist that he agreed with the account in the
Probation Officer's Report, which is set forth in the Statement of Facts,
But at ML Glasgow's hearing in April 2011, he reverted to claiming that he killed Mr. Collins in
self defense, By claiming self defense, ML Glasgow minimizes his culpability for the
premeditated murder he committed, His changing explanations and his failure to take full
responsibility indicate that he does not understand the reasons he committed the murder. Until
he confronts and deals with the reasons he murdered ML Collins, he will remain a risk of
committing further violence if released from prison,
In addition, ML Glasgow's confidential file indicates that he was trafficking in prescription
drugs as recently as 2008, I find this especially troubling given Mr. Glasgow's history of heroin
addiction, ML Glasgow's continued involvement with drugs indicates that he remains
susceptible to begin abusing drugs again if released from prison,
The conelusions of the psychologist who most recently evaluated ML Glasgow support my
concerns, The psychologist assessed him as posing a "moderate" risk of violent recidivism, a
"medium" risk of general recidivism, and an overall "low-moderate" risk of violence in the free
community, The psychologist also concluded that Mr. Glasgow shows anti-personality traits and

Brice Glasgow, C-26529
First-Degree Murder
Page 3
found that he lacked insight into the reasons he committed the life crime. These elevated risk
assessment scores coupled with Mr. Glasgow's minimization of his role in the murder cause me
concern that he would still pose a risk to society if released from prison. His inability or
unwillingness to honestly explain what led him to murder Mr. Collins and shoot Ms. Watts
indicates that he remains dangerous.

CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Glasgow is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole. J find the evidence J have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, J reverse the decision to
parole My. Glasgow.

Decision Date: September 9. 20 I I
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
EDW ARD ORTEGA, B-78522
First-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:
REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS

Edward Ortega was incarcerated for selling heroin. In prison, Mr. Ortega and inmate Manuel
Torres attacked inmate Rodney Hollingsworth, stabbing him 37 times and killing him. Mr.
Ortega and Mr. Torres were members ofa prison gang. Leaders of the gang apparently ordered
Mr. Ortega and Mr. Torres to murder Mr. Hollingsworth because he was believed to havc
provided information to a rival gang.
GOVERNING LAW

The question I must answer is whether Mr. Ortega will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)
DECISION

The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Oliega suitable for parole based on his lack of
assaultive history as a juvenile, prison work experience, participation in self-help programs,
reduced risk of recidivism due to age, realistic parole plans, good behavior in recent years,
remorse and acceptance of responsibility for the crime, and his continued positive attitude after
the Governor reversed his parole grant in 2010.
I acknowledge Mr. Ortega has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He earned a
high school diploma, completed vocational training programs, and held a number of institutional
job assignments. He also participated in a number of self-help programs, including Alcoholics
Anonymous from 1998 to 2002 and beginning again in January of2011, Narcotics Anonymous
from 1998 to 2002, Empathy and Effective Communication workshop, anger management
programs, Breaking Barriers program, and individual and group therapy. I commend Mr. Ortega
for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he
remains unsuitable for parole.

Edward Ortega, 8-78522
First-Degree Murder
Page 2
Mr 011ega's long criminal history involves a number of drug-related charges, including two
convictions for being under the influence of opiates and one conviction for selling heroin. His
2010 psychological evaluation indicates he identifies his substance abuse as the primary cause of
the crimes he committed and his other poor choices. Mr Ortega admits that, before he went to
prison, he used heroin regularly and abused alcohol, marijuana, and barbiturates. In prison, he
has been disciplined three times for substance-related offenses. As recently as September 2010
he was taking morphine to treat lower back pain despite his history of heroin addiction.
Despite his problems with addiction, Mr Ortega's participation in substance abuse treatment has
been limited. He told the Board at his 2011 parole hearing that in the past he participated in
Alcoholics Anonymous "off and on" for about a year and half but that he only started attending
on a consistent basis in January of20 II. The psychologist in his 2010 psychological evaluation
noted he had been "allowed a maximum dose of morphine" to control back pain and expressed
serious concern about a heroin addict taking morphine, a highly addictive substance from which
heroin is synthesized, to treat pain. To his credit, Mr Ortega recently stopped taking morphine
according to the addendum to the 2010 psychological evaluation. But given the lifelong nature
of his drug problems, and his limited substance abuse programming, serious concerns remain
that he does not yet have the tools needed to remain drug free if released back into society.
Mr. Ortega's risk assessments scores indicate that he rates in the "moderate" range of the clinic
construct of psychopathy, "low-moderate" for risk of violent recidivism, "high" for risk of
general rccidivism, and that overall he poses a "moderate" risk of violence in the free
community. These elevated scores were due in significant part to his substance abuse problems.
The psychologist noted that his risk of violence in the community would increase ifhe returned
to the use of intoxicating substances.
I am not convinced Mr. Ortega is far enough along in his substance abuse recovery to conclude
that he is unlikely to relapse in the free community. Because of the substantial risk that he will
return to his criminal ways ifhe does go back to using substances in the community, he is not yet
ready for parole.

CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Ortega is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Ortega.

Decision Date: September 9, 2011

En~!J)lbo~
Governor, State of California

1

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
KEVIN TAYLOR, D-03165
First-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS

On the morning of May 29, 1984, Kevin Taylor entered a donut shop anned with a handgun. He
demanded money from the cashier, Soon Hur. Ms. Hur refused and attempted to escape. Mr.
Taylor shot her in the chest, killing her. He then fled.
GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Taylor will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)
DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Taylor suitable for parole based on his insight, lack of
recent misconduct, vocational training, completion of a paralegal studies program, participation
in Alcoholics Anonymous and religious organizations, solid parole plans, and reduced risk of
recidivism due to age.
Mr. Taylor has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He completed a paralegal
correspondence course. He also has participated in Alcoholics Anonymous since December,
2009, involves himself in a number of religious activities, and has been commended by a number
of correctional staff for his positive attitude and good behavior. I commend Mr. Taylor for
taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by other relevant considerations that
demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Taylor callously murdered an innocent victim who was just going about her job operating a
donut shop. His initial motive was greed but he became concerned that the victim might identifY
him so he killed her. Both motives for his decision to end the victim's life are very trivial.

Kevin Taylor, D-03165
First-degree Murder
Page 2
The murder was the most serious ofMr. Taylor's many violent and criminal actions. He was a
member of the Crips street gang with a criminal record that included vehicle theft, battery on
another child, assaulting a teacher and fellow student, vandalism, battering his cousin with a
hammer, as well as multiple instances of escaping juvenile detention facilities. His misconduct
continued in prison where he has received a total of 14 Rules Violation Reports for such offenses
as stabbing another inmate, fighting with another inmate, and possession of weapons (twice),
amongst others. His most recent Rules Violation Report came in December 2002 for conspiracy
to escape from prison.
Mr. Taylor's rehabilitative efforts are underwhelming. At his 20 II Board hearing he indicated
that anger, exposure to violence, and control issues were the main factors that led to his criminal
activity. But he has not participated in self-help programs designed to address those issues. He
also attributed his behavior to his gang involvement. He has not participated in any gang-related
self-help programs. His participation in Alcoholics Anonymous since December 2009, various
religious programs, and a parenting course, while commendable, do not directly address the
central problems that contributed to his murder of Ms. Hur.
Considering his limited participation in self-help programs, it is not surprising that Mr. Taylor
lacks an adequate understanding of the reasons that contributed to his past violent behavior.
When asked during his 2010 psychological evaluation to describe what led him to commit the
murder he responded only that he "lacked self-control at that time." The psychologist found that
he tended to minimize or omit aspects of his history related to events that may be construed in a
negative manner and that he lacked insight regarding the variables which played a role in his
criminal and aggressive behavior. At his 2011 Board hearing Mr. Taylor identified exposure to
violence and anger brought on by his need to control situations and lack of impulse control as the
main factors that contributed to his criminal behavior. While this shows some improvement in
his insight, he did not discuss these issues in any greater detail and did not display a sufficiently
in depth understanding of himself and his violent behavior to offset the findings of his
psychological evaluation that he lacked adequate insight. Until Mr. Taylor demonstrates a
greater understanding and acceptance of the factors that led to his violent criminal behavior, 1
remain concemed that he has yet to develop the skills necessary to avoid violent actions in the
future
Mr. Taylor also has made little effort to develop skills that will enable him to support himself in
the community. He does not have a job offer, has not completed any vocational training, and has
not obtained a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma. He did complete a
correspondence course in paralegal training but there is no indication he has made any effort to
secure employment in that area. Mr. Taylor has a history of theft and robbery and there is a
substantial possibility he would again victimize others ifhe is unable to provide for himselfby
legitimate means.
Mr. Taylor's most recent risk assessments confirm that his lack of rehabilitative efforts make
him a greater risk to reoffend. He scored in the "moderate" range for likelihood of violent
recidivism. The psychologist identified Mr. Taylor'S insufficient insight and unresponsiveness
to treatment as factors that increased his likelihood of violent recidivism, along with his

Kevin Taylor, D-03165
First-degree Murder
Page 3
substantial history of violent and criminal behavior. The psychologist found Mr. Taylor posed a
"high" risk of general recidivism based on bis criminal history, institutional misconduct, failure
to upgrade educationally or vocationally while incarcerated, and his diagnosis for Antisocial
Personality Disorder, among other factors. Overall, the psychologist found he posed a
"moderate" risk of future violence and that he could reduce his risk of recidivism by
participating in self-help programs, developing furtber insight into his criminal lifestyle and life
crime, and upgrading his education and vocational skills.
Mr. Taylor perpetrated violent criminal behavior for many years, beginning in bis early teens. In
recent years his behavior has improved and it appears he has begun to explore the reasons behind
his violent behavior. But he still has work to do on his rehabilitation before he no longer poses
an unreasonable threat to the community.
CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Taylor is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Taylor.

Decision Date: October 7, 2011

EDMfMR~N~'"1
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
RICKY PEREZ, C-SlS33
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On May 23, 1982, Ricky Perez brutally murdered Carolyn Lugo, the mother of one of his
friends. Ms. Lugo had recently told Mr. Perez that she did not want him to associate with her
son any longer because ofMr. Perez's drug use. On the day ofthe murder, Mr. Perez had been
partying at Ms. Lugo's house with her son and some other friends. Mr. Perez consumed eight or
nine beers, methamphetamine, PCP, and LSD. In the evening, the group of friends went to a
drive-in movie. But Mr. Perez left early and went home to pick up a kitchen knife. He then
went back to Ms. Lugo's house by himself. He falsely told Ms. Lugo that her son was "loaded"
around the corner and unable to drive home. When Ms. Lugo went outside to find her son, Mr.
Perez began to attack her. A struggle ensued during which Mr. Perez repeatedly stabbed her
with the knife and struck her head with a large rock, killing her. Ms. Lugo's daughter found her
body lying near the driveway.

GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Perez will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the imnate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (1n re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4'h 1181, 1214.)

DECISION
Mr. Perez was released from prison in September 2010 after the Board granted him parole. At
that time the Board had been compelled to grant him parole by a federal court order. I reversed
that parole grant this February based on Mr. Perez's inadequate insight into the reasons he
committed the murder. Following my reversal, Mr. Perez was returned to prison. The Board has
now granted him parole again; this time based on his remorse, participation in self-help, family
support, and his low risk assessments.

Ricky Perez, C-SlS33
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
1 acknowledge that Mr. Perez has made efforts to improve himself while in prison. He earned a
General Equivalency Diploma, as well as vocational training certificates in carpentry and
machine shop. He has held several skilled institutional jobs, and has participated in self-help
programs, including substance abuse treatment, stress management, and self-esteem training. He
has also taken adult-literacy courses. 1 commend Mr. Perez for taking these positive steps, and I
acknowledge that he did not reoffend while he was released from prison. But the negative
considerations that I will discuss indicate that he still poses a risk to public safety.
The murder Mr. Perez committed is especially troubling because of its brutal and inexplicable
nature. He not only stabbed Ms. Lugo several times, but also crushed her head with a large rock.
Mr. Perez's inexplicable motive adds to the egregiousness of the crime.
1 am concerned that Mr. Perez still does not understand why he murdered Ms. Lugo. When
asked for his reasons at his most recent parole hearing, Mr. Perez replied, "I have no answer for
that. I real1y don't." When asked the same question by his psychological evaluator in March
2011, he replied: "I was high; I don't remember why I wanted to harm her." The evaluator
observed that "Mr. Perez cannot be seen as having adequate insight regarding his role in the life
crime, given his cunent report of being unaware of why he wanted to harm the victim."
I do not doubt that Mr. Perez's drugged and intoxicated mental state played a role in the murder,
but drugs and alcohol do not ful1y explain why he so viciously attacked his friend's mother.
There were deeper issues that contributed to his decision to commit this murder. Until he shows
that he understands what those issues were, and that he has taken steps to address them, there is
inadequate assurance that he will not act violently if released from prison.
I am also concerned that Mr. Perez is not talcing his alcohol and substance abuse problems
seriously enough. Mr. Perez stated in his most recent psychological exam, when asked what
motivated him to commit the crime, that it was "the drugs and alcohol; It was the biggest issue
because 1 lost all control of what was right and wrong and I wasn't thinking clearly." However,
during the five months that he was recently back in society, he failed to participate in any alcohol
or substance abuse program, nor did he obtain a sponsor as he reported he would during his
previous psychological evaluation. He told recent psychological evaluators that he does not need
to attend a relapse prevention program because he does not believe there is any chance that he
would ever use substances again. Mr. Perez does not appear to have a realistic understanding of
the heightened risk of relapse he would face if released from prison. This raises legitimate
public safety concerns given the severity of his substance abuse problems and the role they
played in the brutal murder he committed.

Ricky Perez, C-51533
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3
CONCLUSION

I have considered the evidence that is relevant to whether Mr. Perez is currently dangerous.
When considered as a whole, I find the reasons I have discussed show why he still poses a
danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to pa ole Mr. Perez.

Decision Date: October 14.2011

tLAlz&~
EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
ARBIE HODGE, C-06325
Second-Degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS

On January 14, 1979, Arbie Hodge saw his girlfriend fighting with another woman in the street
in front of his house. Another man. Thurman Allen. attempted to intervene in the fight. Mr.
Allen was armed with a picture frame. Mr. Hodge grabbed a baseball bat, went outside, and
struck Mr. Allen in the head twice. Mr. Allen fell to the ground and died several days later from
his wounds. For nearly 10 years afterward, Mr. Hodge denied striking Mr. Allen with the bat.
GOVERNING LAW

The question I must answer is whether Mr. Hodge will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)
DECISION

The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Hodge suitable for parole based on his remorse, insight,
lack of institutional misconduct, participation in self-help programs, vocational training, realistic
parole plans, marketable job skills, and age.
Mr. Hodge has made some efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He obtained a General
Equivalency Diploma, completed vocational training in dry cleaning and tailoring, and held a
number of institutional jobs. He also participated in some self-help groups including Alcoholics
Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Roadsiders, a l2-step fellowship group, a psychiatric
department self-help group, and an effective communication course. I commend Mr. Hodge for
taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he
remains unsuitable for parole.

Arbie Hodge, C-0632S
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
Mr. Hodge committed a brutal and senseless murder. He beat Mr. Allen in the head with a
baseball bat. Mr. Allen was armed with nothing more than a picture frame. At his most recent
parole hearing, Mr. Hodge told the Board that he hit Mr. Allen with the bat to prevent Mr. AlJen
from hitting one of the women with the picture frame. Mr. Hodge's response to Mr. AlJen's
intervention was entirely disproportionate to the relatively minor confrontation.
I am troubled by the fact that Mr. Hodge has not fulJy accepted responsibility for killing Mr.
AlJen. During Mr. Hodge's most recent psychological evaluation, the psychologist concluded
that Mr. Hodge attributes culpability to his victim rather than to himself: "Mr. Hodge's insistence
that he was trying to protect himself and his girlfriend from Mr. Allen's aggression, certainly
appears to partially blame the victim for his own murder." The psychologist further concluded
that Mr. Hodge was more concerned about the impact his crime had on his own life rather than
Mr. Allen's: "although he claims to feel remorse for his actions, Mr. Hodge remains more
focused on the consequences of his crime on his own life rather than that of the victim." The
psychologist concluded that Mr. Hodge is not "particularly insightful or introspective" and that
"[a]s such, he has been unable to identifY the reasons behind his past criminal behaviors,
including the controlJing offense."
1 am also concerned that Mr. Hodge has not acknowledged the considerable extent ofms
substance-abuse problems or attempted to address them adequately. During his 2011 Board
hearing, he indicated has not pursued any self-help to try to understand the link between his
substance abuse and his criminal history. He told the psychologist that he stopped participating
in Alcoholics Anonymous in 2005 after he was denied parole. The psychologist opined that
"Mr. Hodge demonstrates very little insight into his substance abuse, but insisted that he would
never use drugs again." Given the lifelong nature of his drug problems and his limited substance
abuse programming, I have serious concerns that he will remain drug-free if released back into
society.
My concern that Mr. Hodge remains dangerous is further supported by the elevated risk
assessment scores assigned to him in his 20 I 0 psychological evaluation. The psychologist
detemlined that he was in the "moderate" range for likelihood of violent recidivism, in the
"medium" range for risk of general recidivism, and that overall he posed a "moderate-high" risk
of committing violence in the community. The psychologist also found Mr. Hodge to be in the
"high" range for psychopathy.
Until Mr. Hodge confronts and deals with the problems that caused him to brutally murder Mr.
AlJen, he wilJ remain a threat to public safety. I encourage him to resume participation in
substance-abuse treatment, and to seek out programs and other ways to examine and address the
reasons for his violent and criminal behavior.

Arbie Hodge, C-06325
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3
CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Hodge is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence that I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Hodge.

Decision Date: October 21, 2011

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
JAMES MEINECKE, E-67329
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On September 24, 1989, James Meinecke drank beers while cutting wood with friends. He then
went to a bar and drank more. In the process of leaving the bar, he hit a parked car. He then
went to a restaurant. When leaving the restaurant, he hit a planter box and fence. He then
proceeded onto the two-lane highway. While driving on the highway, he crossed the center line
into oncoming traffic. He collided head-on with a car driven by Paul Higgins. Karla Takahashi
was the passenger in Mr. Higgins' car. Mr. Higgins suffered life-threatening injuries and was in
a coma for some time after the collision. He survived and eventually came out of the coma but,
since the crash, has been unable to care for himself due to injuries suffered during the collision.
Ms. Takahashi died as a result of injuries suffered during the collision. Mr. Meinecke was
hospitalized with lacerations to his left knee, face, and internal injuries. His blood-alcohol level
taken two hours after the collision was 0.23%.
GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Meinecke will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)
DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Meinecke suitable for parole based on his remorse,
participation in self-help programs, lack of misconduct, adequate parole plans, lack of assaultive
behavior as a juvenile, and reduced risk of recidivism due to age.
I acknowledge Mr. Meinecke has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated.
commend Mr. Meinecke for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by other
relevant considerations that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.

James Meinecke, E-67329
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
Mr. Meinecke was convicted of driving under the influence and/or driving on a revoked license
eight times prior to the night he got in his car drunk yet again and ended np killing Ms.
Takahashi and permanently injuring Mr. Higgins. These convictions occurred over a period of
fourteen years. Despite all of these warnings and legal interventions, Mr. Meinecke continued to
drive drunk. Given the severity of his history of drunk driving and his repeated failures to stop
his dangerous behavior, I am not satisfied that Mr. Meinecke has done enough to ensure he will
not drink again, or if he drinks, that he w~ll not drive and hnrt more innocent people. Despite his
record in prison, he simply poses too great of a risk to the public to allow him back out on the
street.

CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Meinecke is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I fmd the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Meinecke.

Decision Date: October 21,2011

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
TENG VANG, J-724S0
Second-degree murder

AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On June 18, 1994, Teng Yang, Touly Yang, Yang Lao and Sou Thao, all fellow members of the
same street gang, decided to retaliate against a rival gang for threats made earlier in the day. Sou
Thao and Touly Yang and went home and retrieved guns. Sou Thao got a shotgun and Touly
Vang retrieved a bag of guns. Meanwhile, some of their fellow gang members and affiliates
stole a minivan and brought it back. Teng Yang armed himself with a shotgun. Sou Thao drove.
They spotted members of the rival gang outside a house. When the rival gang members got into
their cars, Sou Thao pulled up next to them and Teng Yang, Yang Lao, and Sou Thao opened
fire. Bi Yang, Khao Hue, and Khao Heu were shot. Bi Yang arid Khao Hue were injured but
survived. Khao Heu was killed.

GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Yang will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (1n re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181,1214.)

DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Yang suitable for parole based on his remorse,
acceptance of responsibility, insight, vocational work, self-help efforts, and realistic parole plans.
I acknowledge that Mr. Vang has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He
obtained a high school diploma, and completed vocational training in mill and cabinetry,
building maintenance, and masonry. Mr. Yang also pruticipated in a number of self-help courses
such as Anger Management, Substance Abuse Program, Alternatives to Violence, Criminal
Gangs and Violence Prevention Progrrun, and Sexual Abuse/Assault Prevention and
Intervention. I commend Mr. Yang for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by
negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.

Teng Yang, 1-72450
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
Mr. Vang committed a completely senseless murder. He and his fellow gang members stole a
minivan, armed themselves with fireanns, sought out rival gang members, and then
indiscriminately fired on them at close range. Mr. Vang' s motive for committing this vicious
crime is inexplicable.
Despite the gains he has made while incarcerated, his most recent psychological evaluation
indicates that he remains a threat to the community. The psychologist opined that Mr. Yang does
not understand what compelled him to kill Mr. Heu, finding that he lacked "greater recognition
of his emotions, motivation, and how it impacted his behaviors and allowed him to join the gang,
and eventually to take active part in this murder."
The psychologist also observed that Mr. Yang lacks empathy for his victims: "During this
interview, this individual's lack of empathy for the victims ." was significant." The psychologist
concluded that Mr. V ang' s insigbt was "insufficient" and that he was "unable to identifY any of
the internal factors of his crime." The psychologist also diagnosed Mr. Yang with Adult
Antisocial Personality Disorder, which increases his risk for violent recidivism.
I am also concerned about Mr. Yang's recent and lengthy record of disciplinary violations. He
had two serious disciplinary reports within the last four years. In 2008, he received a Rule
Violation Report for possession of a slingshot with a rock. And in 2007, he received a Rule
Violation Report for possession of a cell phone. And these are only his two most recent rule
violations in what is a long record offairly frequent violations; he had other rule violations in
2003, 2002, 1999, 1998, and 1996. This pattern indicates that he has not yet demonstrated that
he can abide by the rules for a sustained period of time.

CONCLUSION

J have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Yang is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence J have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, J reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Yang.

Decision Date: October 21, 2011

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
KENNY EVANS, H-83601
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On June 19, 1992, Kenny Evans was at his apartment with some friends, including Eric
Edmunds. Mr. Edmunds' car had recently been stolen from him at gunpoint. Mr. Edmunds told
Mr. Evans that he saw the men responsible for the theft outside. Mr. Edmunds, Mr. Evans, and
two other men went looking for them. Mr. Edmunds was carrying a semiautomatic handgun, but
Mr. Evans took it from him. They spotted Tyrone Williams and Alexander Cade standing
outside Mr. Williams' apartment talking and drinking. Mr. Evans came up behind them and
immediately began shooting at them. He shot at them 12 times. Mr. Cade managed to run away
without getting hit, but Mr. Williams was shot several times and died at the scene.

GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Evans will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)

DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Evans suitable for parole based on his stable social
system, vocational training, positive work record while incarcerated, educational upgrading,
participation in self help, low risk assessments, insight, and parole plans.
I acknowledge that Mr. Evans has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He
completed vocational training in auto mechanics and is working toward an associate of science
degree. He has participated in self-help programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics
Anonymous, Alternatives to Violence, Victims Awareness, Creative Conflict Resolution,
KAIROS, and parenting courses. I commend Mr. Evans for taking these positive steps. But they
are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.

Kenny Evans, H-83601
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
Mr. Evans senselessly murdered an innocent man just because his friend mistakenly suspected
him of having stolen his friend's car. The severity and spontaneity ofMr. Evan's violence is
troubling. As soon as he saw the two men, he fired twelve bullets at them without warning. Mr.
Williams was unanned and had no opportunity to defend himself. Mr. Evans' actions were a
completely disproportionate response to his friend's car being stolen. Whatever motive he may
have had for committing this murder is inexplicable.
Mr. Evans refused to accept responsibility for the murder until 2004. Although he now admits
that he killed Mr. Williams, he still does not appear to have anything more than a shallow
understanding of why he reacted so explosively to an issue that really did not concern him. He
told the Board at his most recent hearing that he was trying to show his friends how tough he
was. But this explanation does not show an understanding ofthe volatile rage he exhibited by
unleashing a barrage of bullets on the two unsuspecting people he had snuck up on. He
remarked to the psychologist who evaluated him in 2010 found that the situation "could have
been handled better." What an understatement. Although he now accepts responsibility for his
actions, he has not shown that he adequately understands the reasons he reacted so violently in
this. situation. The psychologist found that he has "some understanding of his actions in the
crime," but noted "some lack of substance or depth" in his articulation. Until Mr. Evans shows a
deeper understanding of why he committed this senseless murder, I am concerned that he may
react violently to other situations that arise ifhe is released from prison.
Mr. Evans' misbehavior in prison also causes me concern that he will not be able to abide by the
laws of our society. He has received numerous rule violations in prison, the most recent of
which was in 2007 for possessing a cell phone. Mr. Evans told the parole board at his most
recent hearing that understands the wrongfulness of this rule violation. The psychologist in 2010
observed, though, that this recent rule violation "suggests some antisocial attitude in failing to
follow prison rules, and he has tended to deny and minimize his responsibility" for his other rule
violations. The psychologist found that he "demonstrated some difficulty in accepting
responsibility for his actions and often seems to have defended himself with lies or obfuscation."
Mr. Evans current elevated risk assessments also indicate that he remains a threat to society if
released from prison. The psychologist who evaluated him in 2010 detennined that he was in the
"moderate" range for likelihood of violent recidivism, and a "low/moderate risk for violence in
the free community."
CONCLUSION

I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Evans is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Evans.
Decision Date: October 28, 2011

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
MICHAEL HUNTER, H-40401
Second degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On July 26,1991, Michael Hunter stabbed Patrick Corbin in the neck with a Jmjfe while he slept.
Mr. Hunter and Mr. Corbin lived in a transient camp. Mr. Hunter had recently received a
threatening note and he mistakenly believed it had come from Mr. Corbin. Mr. Hunter later told
a probation officer that, after receiving the note, .he felt threatened and, "1 was going to eliminate
the threat." He admitted that he went to Mr. Corbin's camp with the intention of stabbing him.
At the time of the murder, Mr. Hunter had been a drug abuser for several years.
GOVERNING LAW
The question 1 must answer is whether Mr. Hunter will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, 1 must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)
DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Hunter suitable for parole based on his work record,
parole plans, participation in self help, conduct in prison, remorse, and psychological evaluation.
1 acknowledge that Mr. Hunter has made some efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He
obtained a GED, and completed vocational training in office and janitorial services. He
participated in self help programs including Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous between 1995
and 1997, a victim awareness program, and stress and anger management programs. I commend
Mr. Hunter for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by negative factors that
demonstrate that he remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Hunter committed a senseless and cowardly murder of a completely defenseless man. Mr.
Hunter snuck up on Mr. Corbin while he was sleeping, stabbed him in the throat with a hunting

Michael Hunter, H-4040 I
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
knife, and then ran away. Even ifMr. Hunter's claim that Mr. Corbin left him the threatening
note were true, Mr. Hunter's response to it was completely disproportionate.
Mr. Hunter abused drugs for several years before he murdered Mr. Corbin. He reported that he
snorted methamphetamine on a daily basis, in addition to abusing marijuana and cocaine. Yet in
all of his years in prison, he only participated in Narcotics Anonymous for 14 months. Given his
limited efforts to address his drug abuse problems, I am concerned that he does not yet have the
tools to prevent a relapse ifhe is released from prison.
The psychologist who evaluated him this year shares my concerns. The psychologist opined that
Mr. Hunter's drug abuse exacerbated the suspicious and paranoid thought process that
contributed to the murder. The psychologist observed that Mr. Hunter displayed only a limited
understanding "into his changing pattern of abuse, his triggers, warning signs and its impact
upon his life and those around him. Mr. Hunter indicated that use of intoxicants never caused
him any problems. He failed to identify his triggers and warning signs. Similarly, he
communicated no viable relapse prevention plan, which he would be willing to follow in [theJ
community." The psychologist concluded that Mr. Hunter "needs to develop greater grasp of the
changing pattern of abuse of intoxicants, and become familiar with his triggers (i.e.
circumstances and internal affective states) and warning signs in order to be prepared to address
such eventuality in the future."
Because Mr. Hunter was abusing drugs at the time of the murder, I am concerned that ifhe were
to fall back into using drugs when released from prison, he may engage in further violent
behavior. My safety concerns are further supported by the elevated risk assessment scores Mr.
Hunter received in his 2011 psychological evaluation. The psychologist assessed Mr. Hunter's
risk for general recidivism as "medium" and his risk of violent recidivism as "moderate." The
psychologist stated that his risk of reoffending would increase should he begin using drugs again.
In light ofMr. Hunter's limited efforts to address his drug abuse problems, releasing him from
prison at this time is a gamble that I am not prepared to make.
CONCLUSION

I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Hunter is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Hunter.

Decision Date: October 28, 20 II

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
JOHN KOHLER, K-96254
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On July 13, 1996, John Kohler and his live-in girlfriend, Gerilyn Tuzon, beat and tortured her
four year-old son J arren to death after he got some juice from the refrigerator without his
mother's pennission. The day after the beating, police came to their home, and found J arren
unconscious. He was taken to hospital where doctors detennined that he was brain dead. Jarren
was taken offlife support and allowed to die.
Mr. Kohler and Ms. Tuzon initially told authorities that Jarren had fallen down the stairs and hurt
his head. Later, upon further questioning, they gave conflicting reports of who beat Jarren. Each
blamed the other. What is known is that over several hours, together or individually, they
repeatedly slapped Jarren, causing him to fall down. Next, Mr. Kohler or Ms. Tuzon pulled
Jarren up by his hair to a standing position, got a belt, and spanked him with it 25 to 30 times,
and then slapped his face again. Jarren was then taken to a bedroom and whipped repeatedly
with an electrical cord, leaving welt marks on his legs. Then Jarren was hit with a plastic hanger.
Next, he was repeatedly pushed against his chest with such force that he fell backwards against
the wall, hitting his head.
Jarren was then ordered to stand at the foot of the bed for about an hour until he could answer
why he was being punished. Afterward, Jarren was told to go to bed. But his ordeal did not end
there. Instead, he was pulled from the top bunk of his bed and thrown to the floor, landing on his
head. He was picked up by his shirt and either dropped or fell to the floor face first. He began
bleeding from his mouth and became unresponsive.

GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Kohler will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
ofthe crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the irunate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (1n re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)

John Kohler, K-96254
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
DECISION
The parole board found Mr. Kohler suitable for parole based on his participation in selfhelp, his
prison conduct and job performance, his family support, remorse, and psychological report.
I acknowledge that Mr. Kohler has made some efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He
participated in substance abuse therapy and other self-help courses such as Creative Conflict
Resolution, Victim Awareness, Breaking Barriers, anger and stress management programs,
Alternatives to Violence, Life Skills Men's Violence Prevention Group, and Victim/Offender
Reconciliation. Mr. Kohler also completed vocational training and obtained an associate degree
in paralegal studies. I commend him for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by
negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Kohler committed an unconscionable and heinous murder of a defenseless child. For hours
he and his girlfriend viciously abused and beat to death a helpless four year-old boy. A postmortem medical examination revealed that Jarren had a subdural hematoma to the skull, which
caused his brain death. Jarren's trust and confidence was betrayed by the two adults most
responsible for his care.
In this case, the heinousness of Mr. Kohler's crime raises sufficient public safety concerns to
warrant denying Wm parole. But I am also concerned that Mr. Kohler fails to accept full
responsibility for his role in Jarren's murder. He blames Ms. Tuzon for inflicting the most
severe abuse on J arren that night, and says that he hit the boy to a much lesser extent. He
portrays his main crime as not intervening to stop Ms. Tuzon from beating Jarren to death. He
claims that he did not stop Ms. Tuzon from beating J arren because confronting her might have
jeopardized their relationship.
Although Mr. Kohler claims to take "a lot" of the responsibility for the murder, by shifting
primary responsibility to Ms. Tuzon and portraying himself as someone who was afraid to
intervene, Mr. Kohler fails to genuinely accept responsibility for his own violent actions that
caused Jarren's murder. Mr. Kohler is not required to admit guilt to be found suitable for parole
(Penal Code §5011). But by minimizing his culpability and shifting primary responsibility to his
crime partner, he shows that he lacks insight into why he committed the crime and offers no
assurance that he will not be violent with other children if released from prison.
CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence relevant to whether Mr. Kohler is currently dangerous. When
considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he currently poses a
danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr. Kohler.

Decision Date: October 28, 20 II
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
JOANNE MARCHETTI, W-36662
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On July 12, 1988, Joanne Marchetti beat her five-year-old son, Randy, because he wet the bed
and urinated on the wall. She hit him with a broom, a basebal1 bat, punched him, and kicked
him. Ms. Marchetti's boyfriend, Ricky Higginbotham, also hit Randy, kicked him with steeltoed boots, and threw him against a toy box. The next day she bathed her son's dead body in the
bath tub while her six-year old daughter and two-year old son took their bath. She and Mr.
Higginbotham then took Randy's body to the hospital where the doctors pronounced him dead
on arrival. Randy's body already had signs of rigor mortis on arrival. An autopsy showed that
Randy's head was almost entirely red and swollen, and that he had trauma on his face, his right
ann, both legs, and the tops of his fcet. There were about 90 separate areas of trauma on his
body. He was also malnourished, weighing only 34 Y:z pounds.
Ms. Marchetti has maintained for many years that Mr. Higginbotham was the one who severely
and fatally beat Randy and that her main crime was that she failed to intervene. But, her
daughter, who was 6 years old at the time, witnessed the murder and testified that Ms. Marchetti
did, in fact, severely beat Randy that day, just as she had done on a regular basis in the past.

GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Ms. Marchetti will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must examine the same record that was
before the Board of Parole Hearings and adhere to the same legal standards. The circumstances
ofthe crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that
something in the inmate's pre- or post-incarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor
and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current
dangerousness. (1n re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)

DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Ms. Marchetti suitable for parole based on her good
behavior in prison and her insight. I acknowledge that she has made efforts to improve herself
while incarcerated. She has participated in Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous since 1992.
She participated in self help programs including Pathways to Wholeness, Life Plan for Recovery,

Joanne Marchetti, W-36662
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
Women's Ethic groups, Christian Fellowship 12-step program, and stress management and drug
counseling programs. She also obtained a veterinary assistant diploma and has been a volunteer
dog trainer. I commend Ms. Marchetti for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed
by negative factors that demonstrate that she remains unsuitable for parole.
Ms. Marchetti committed a horrific crime of almost unfathomable cruelty against her own son.
As Randy's mother, she held a position of trust and she betrayed it in the worst possible way.
She and Mr. Higginbotham mercilessly beat five year-old Randy to death. Detectives inspected
Ms. Marchetti's home after the murder and found blood on her bedroom wall, the bathroom
door, the doorknob, in the bathtub, on a wall in the dining area, and in the kitchen.
Ms. Marchetti has never admitted that the full extent of the physical abuse she inflicted on her
son. Instead, she maintains that Mr. Higginbotham beat Randy to death and that she simply
failed to intervene. But Ms. Marchetti's daughter, Brandy Marchetti Cambron, witnessed the
murder when she was six years old, and she has a very different account of what transpired that
day. She reported to the parole board last year that on the day of the murder, Ms. Marchetti gave
Randy a severe beating for wetting the bed. The beating was so bad that the neighbors reported
it, and social workers came to the home to investigate. When the social workers arrived, Randy
was in the bedroom, moaning in pain on the floor. But as her mother had trained her to do, sixyear-old Brandy told the social workers that everything was fine, and Ms. Marchetti said Randy
was simply taking a nap. The social workers left without examining Randy, and after they left,
Ms. Marchetti began beating him with a baseball bat to punish him for the social workers' visit.
She then started removing the pictures from the wall that Randy was in.
Ms. Cambron further reported to the Board that when Mr. Higginbotham arrived a short while
later, Ms. Marchetti told him that he needed to punish Randy too. He began to beat Randy as the
little boy lay unconscious on the bedroom floor. When he was done beating him, he rolled him
up in a carpet, put him in the toy box, and left. Several hours later, Ms. Marchetti moved Randy
from the toy box to the couch where he lied perfectly still with a glazed look in his eyes. Ms.
Marchetti sent Brandy and her two-year old brother Mark to bed, and left Randy on the couch to
die. When they woke up the next morning, Ms. Marchetti made Brandy and Mark take a bath,
then put Randy's dead body in the bathtub with them. After the bath, Ms. Marchetti and Mr.
Higginbotham drove them all to the hospital. Brandy recalls Randy's cold, stiff body laying
against her the whole drive there. She then witnessed her mother and Mr. Higginbotham lie to
the doctors about what had happened to Randy.
Ms. Marchetti's daughter told the Board that the abuse Randy received the day of the murder
was not a one-time occurrence. She explained that on a daily basis for a period of months, Ms.
Marchetti had starved and abused Randy. Ms. Marchetti and Mr. Higginbotham would
frequently throw Randy in a dumpster and then bang on the closed lid. TIley would make him
bang his head against the wall doingjumpingjacks. Ms. Marchetti wonld tie clothes he had
urinated in over his face and mouth, and make him sit like that for hours.

Joanne Marchetti, W-36662
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3
I commend Ms. Cambron for her courage in recounting the horrific abuse that her mother
inflicted on her little brother. I find her account of what happened to be more reliable than the
versions given by either Ms. Marchetti or Mr. Higginbotham.
Unfortunately, it appears the full extent of Ms. Marchetti's physical abuse of her son has not
been considered in recent assessments of her parole suitability. For example, the last time Ms.
Marchetti agreed to be interviewed about the crime by a psychologist was in 2007. That
psychologist gave a favorable review of Ms. Marchetti, but it was premised on the view that Ms.
Marchetti was not the principal perpetrator of her son's injuries, and that her conviction resulted
from her failure to protect her son. The 2007 psychologist noted that Ms. Marchetti did not
attempt to minimize the cruelty of the crime or her failure to protect her child. But by placing
primary blame on her boyfriend, and casting her own crime as merely failing to protect Randy,
Ms. Marchetti minimizes her culpability in severely abusing her son herself.
Similarly, the Board's recent parole grant to Ms. Marchetti came in response to a court order that
found no evidence indicating that Ms. Marchetti remains dangerous. But the court premised its
ruling on a misunderstanding of the facts. The court said that Ms. Marchetti "was not the one
inflicting the fatal blows, nor was she even present. This is a case of a mother who was not fit to
be a mother. It is a case of a mother who did not protect her child." To the contrary, Ms.
Cambron recalls that Ms. Marchetti was indeed present and she inflicted a very brutal beating on
little Randy the night of the murder, just as she had done over the course of the previous months.
Any accurate assessment of Ms. Marchetti's suitability for parole must start with an
understanding of the most reliable account of her participation in the murder. When I assess her
suitability for parole in light of this account, I find that Ms. Marchetti continues to minimize her
culpability and conveniently shifts the bulk of the blame to her boyfriend. By doing so, she has
not displayed an adequate understanding of why she so severely and brutally beat her young son.
Until she accepts responsibility for the severe abuse she herself inflicted on her child, and shows
that she understands and has dealt with her reasons for doing so, the public has no assurance that
she has learned how to control her violent behavior if released back into society.
CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Ms. Marchetti is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why she
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Ms. Marchetti.

Decision Date: October 28, 20 II

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
PAUL CROWDER, H-19902
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:
REVERSE:

x
STATEMENT OF FACTS

On June 1, 1991, Paul Crowder attended a party at a hotel after a high school prom. He brought
a gun to the party. He was nineteen years old at the time and was no longer in high school but
had been invited to the party by his friend Kenneth Schaffer. Mr. Shaffer, who was in high
school at the time, was at the hotel with his girlfriend, seventeen-year old Berlyn Cosman, and
a number of other fellow high school students who had attended the prom that evening. The
group had rented three hotel rooms for the party.
Mr. Crowder drank alcohol and played with the gun throughout the night. At one point, he was
asked if the gun was loaded. In response, he loaded it and then announced "now it is." At
another point, he aimed the gun at young man at the party. Someone took the gun away from
Mr. Crowder, and warned him not to point it at people. But Mr. Crowder soon retrieved the
gun, and later poked another young man with the gun and asked him, "[d]o you want your butt
blown off? It's only loaded." Mr. Crowder also "dry-fired" the weapon when it was unloaded
and jokingly cocked it and pointed it at his own head. He also pointed the gun around the
room while it was loaded with the hammer cocked back.
Later, Mr. Crowder went to the adjacent hotel room where Ms. Cosman was staying. A young
lady at the party told him, "Kenny and Berlyn are going to sleep here. You guys are going to
sleep in the car." Mr. Crowder began arguing with Ms. Cosman and the young lady. Mr.
McClintock, who had been asleep in the other room, heard Mr. Crowder yell "then where am I
going to sleep? Fuck you. I want to stay in here and party." Mr. Crowder then said, "[o]kay,
then give me my gun and bullets." The door slammed behind him as he left the room. When
he returned to the other room he said, "I hate them. Fuck them. They are just dissing me ....
I hate them. I want to kill them." Mr. Crowder repeatedly slammed the table with his hands
and said, "[t]hose fucking bitches, I hate those bitches. I just want to kill them all."
Shortly before dawn, after reloading the pistol, Mr. Crowder returned to the room where Ms.
Cosman was sleeping on a sofa bed. Mr. Crowder stood in the doorway with the gun in his
hand. He fired a shot. The bullet hit Ms. Cosman in the head and killed her. Mr. Crowder
immediately ran from the hotel and dumped the gun in a bush. He called home for a ride and
hid until his ride arrived. He went home and went to sleep. Police arrested him later that day.
Mr. Crowder has claimed since the time of his trial that he tripped walking into the hotel room
causing the gun to fire accidently.

Paul Crowder, H-19902
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Crowder will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must adhere to the same legal standards as
the Board of Parole Hearings. The circumstances ofthe crime can provide evidence of current
dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the inmate's pre- or postincarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and mental state, indicate that the
circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008)
44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)
DECISION
In June 2010, the Board of Parole Hearings granted Mr. Crowder parole in response to a superior
court order that restricted the information the Board could consider. Governor Schwarzenegger
reversed that parole grant. But last month, the superior court overturned the former Governor's
decision, and remanded the matter to the Governor for reconsideration.
I acknowledge Mr. Crowder has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He earned
a General Equivalency Diploma, completed vocational training, and held a number of prison
jobs. He also has participated in 12-step substance abuse programs, attended 20 hours of anger
management classes, and participated in 21 hours of self-help workshops offered through the
Breaking Barriers program. I commend Mr. Crowder for taking these positive steps. But they
are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
The murder was horrific and utterly senseless. Mr. Crowder killed a promising young woman
after her senior prom, taking her away from her loving family and friends. His actions
devastated the lives of her loved ones and had a long-lasting negative impact on the community.
The circumstances of the murder make Mr. Crowder's claim that the shooting was accidental
unbelievable. He told his 2010 mental-health evaluator that he tripped and the gun went off. He
said he initially thought the bullet had gone into the ceiling. The probation report indicates Mr.
Crowder said the gun went off while he was on the floor. Yet the bullet hit the sleeping Ms.
Cosman, whom he had angrily said he had wanted to kill earlier that night, in the temple,
entering her head from a downward trajectory and going through the pillow and the mattress. If
the shooting was really accidental, it seems he would have attempted to administer aide or call
for help, rather than running and hiding.
Mr. Crowder's claim that the shooting was accidental is not his only claim that is belied by the
record. He also claims not to have threatened to kill Ms. Cosman or to have even been angry
with her. But that is not what other witnesses at the party observed. Witnesses at the party
observed Mr. Crowder arguing with Ms. Cosman, and heard him make threatening statements
about hating her and wanting to kill her.
I carmot ignore the evidence that Mr. Crowder engaged in threatening behavior with his gun
throughout the night, or that he was angry with Ms. Cosman, or that he said he wanted to kill her,
or that after shooting her in the head, he immediately ran away and hid. And unless I ignore this
evidence, the only conclusion I can draw is that Mr. Crowder claims that he was not angry with

Paul Crowder, H-19902
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3
Ms. Cosman, and that he did not threaten to kill her, and that the gun discharged accidentally
when he tripped, and the bullet just happened to hit Ms. Cosman in the head, are simply
unbelievable. Mr. Crowder's dishonesty about the murder and his behavior leading up to it
shows that he has thus far either been unwilling or unable to confront and deal with his true
reasons for killing Ms. Cosman. His failure to accept responsibility by minimizing his
culpability for the murder casts doubt over his claims of remorse and indicates that he has not
truly learned from his mistakes.
My conclusions about Mr. Crowder's current mental state are confirmed by his statement during
a recent psychological evaluation in which he characterized the threatening gestures he made
throughout the night when he pointed his gun at people as having been done in a "playful
manner." Pointing a gun at someone is never "playful," and I am sure that the high school kids
he threatened with his gun that night felt scared and uneasy. This statement is yet another sign
that Mr. Crowder does not genuinely understand or accept responsibility for the wrongfulness of
his actions. Until he does, there is no assurance that he does not remain prone to violence if
released back into society.
Evidence of recent illegal activity by Mr. Crowder in prison also indicates that he has not been
rehabilitated. His file contains a confidential memorandwn from September of this year that
indicates he is involved in transporting drugs and gang communications within the prison. A
similar confidential memorandwn from 2010 also indicates he was responsible for delivering
gang communications in the prison. Prison officials deemed the sources of the information in
these memorandums reliable. The file contains a number of other confidential memorandwns
from 1996 through 2008 that indicate Mr. Crowder was involved in gang activity and drug sales
in prison. Mr. Crowder's participation in these illegal acts shows his propensity for criminal
behavior has not changed. It also indicates that his claims of remorse, insight, and personal
gro\'lth are contrived and insincere.
Lastly, while Mr. Crowder's emotional issues, particularly his inability to control his anger,
played a significant role in the crime, he has participated in very little self-help activity to
address those issues. His participation in anger management programs is limited to 20 hours of
classes back in 2002. This is insufficient to address his problem and causes concern that he has
not developed the necessary skills to avoid acting violently in the future. The lack offocus on
self-help also provides evidence that Mr. Crowder is not truly committed to addressing the issues
that led him to murder Ms. Cosgrove.
CONCLUSION

I have considered the evidence relevant to whether Mr. Crowder remains dangerous. When
considered as a whole, the evidence I have discussed shows why he currently poses a danger to
society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr. Crowder.

Decision Date: November 4,2011
EDMUND G. BRO

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
MICHAEL HARRIS, B-60J83
First-degree murder and second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS

On April 15, 1974, Michael Harris got into an argument with someone at a bowling alley. He
went home and got a shotgun and a rifle. When he returned to the bowling alley, Mr. Harris saw
a group of people standing outside and started shooting at them. He shot 18-year-old James
Murray in the chest, back, buttocks, ann, and leg, and he shot Norman Hill in the foot. Mr.
Murray died at the hospital the next day.
Two weeks later, Mr. Harris argued with 16-year-old Silas Knowles apparently because Mr.
Knowles had driven Mr. Harris' car and damaged the tires. After the argument, Mr. Harris left
but returned a short time later to find Mr. Knowles sitting in a parked car. Mr. Harris took his
rifle, walked up to the car, and shot Mr. Knowles in the forehead, killing him.
GOVERNING LAW

The question I must answer is whether Mr. Harris will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must adhere to the same legal standards as
the Board of Parole Hearings. The circumstances of the crime can provide evidence of current
dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the inmate's pre- or postincarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and mental state, indicate that the
circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008)
44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)
DECISION

The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Harris suitable for parole based on its findings that he
shows remorse, understands the nature and magnitude of his crimes, and has received some
positive psychological evaluations.
I acknowledge Mr. Harris has made some efforts in prison to address the issues that lead to his
repeated acts of violence. He attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings between 2000 and
2004. He completed a Creative Conflict Resolution course, a Personal Development and Life
Management Program, Category X, T, and D programs, Vital Issues project, individual and
group therapy, and Behavior Modification. These efforts were a step in the right direction, but
they do not overcome the other factors showing that he remains dangerous.

Michael Harris, B-60 183
First-Degree Murder
Page 2
Mr. Harris committed two senseless murders of teenagers just two weeks apart. He killed both
people after he lost control of his anger following arguments over trivial matters. He committed
the first murder because he was angry with someone at a bowling alley. He was so angry over
this minor incident that he retrieved a gun and starting shooting into a crowd of people. He
killed one young man, injured another, and put the lives of all the other people nearby at risk.
Two weeks later, Mr. Harris murdered a 16-year-old in anger because he believed the young man
had damaged the tires on Mr. Harris' car. These murders show that Mr. Harris had no ability to
control his anger, and had a total disregard of the lives and safety of other people. In addition, at
the time of these murders, Mr. Harris had severe and longstanding problems with alcohol and
drugs, including cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and crystal methamphetamine. There is no question
that his abuse of these substances played a role in his violent behavior.
Mr. Harris has not shown that he adequately understands or has dealt with the reasons he reacted
so violently to the two arguments that precipitated the murders. The psychologist who evaluated
him in 2009 noted that Mr. Harris takes responsibility for the murders and that he understands he
could have harmed more people than he did. But accepting responsibility and acknowledging
that other could have been harmed as well, while important, are not the same as understanding
the reasons he committed these two murders. Unfortunately, the 2009 report did not delve into
Mr. Harris' understanding of the reasons he committed the murders.
A subsequent evaluation completed earlier this year, however, did explore Mr. Harris's
understanding of the reasons he committed the murders, and found his understanding to be
inadequate. During this more recent evaluation, when asked about his state of mind following
the first murder, Mr. Harris became defensive and challenged the psychologist by asking if she
had ever done anything wrong. He also "appeared to avoid acknowledging information which
might portray him in a negative light." When asked about his self help efforts, he avoided the
issue by talking instead about his employment activities and his religious beliefs. When asked
about the murders, Mr. Harris said that he had anger issues that stemmed from childhood when
his sister started garnering more attention that he did, and he said he was under the influence of
alcohol. The psychologist concluded that "this explanation alone does not appear sufficient to
explain Mr. Harris' overtly violent and reckless behavior both prior to and during the early years
of his incarceration." I agree. When considering whether the safety of the public will be
jeopardized by a man who indiscriminately gunned down two people on separate occasions over
minor disputes, I don't think it is too much to ask that the person show that he has a sufficient
understanding of why he committed these murders.
Mr. Harris has also made inadequate efforts to address the anger and substance abuse problems
that contributed to the murders. He attended Alcoholics Anonymous for just four years, and quit
the program in 2004. Despite the severity of his drug abuse, he has never attended Narcotics
Anonymous. Likewise, his efforts to address his anger problems have been limitea and
inadequate. I understand that Mr. Harris' religious beliefs have helped him maintain sobriety in
prison. But I am concerned that his sobriety will be jeopardized if released back into society,
where he will have much greater access to drugs and alcohol, unless he has the benefit of relapse
prevention tools that can be acquired through participation in substance abuse prevention
programs. The psychologist who evaluated him this year observed that it remains concerning
that Mr. Harris has a "somewhat unrealistic view of the challenges he will face in the
community"' and that he would benefit from participating in substance abuse treatment. But

Michael Harris, B-60 183
First-Degree Murder
Page 3
given Mr. Harris' refusal to participate in these programs in prison, I have no reason to believe
that he would be committed to these programs in the community.
Mr. Harris' most recent risk assessment indicates that he poses a moderate risk of violent
recidivism and medium risk of general recidivism. In combination with the concerns identified
in the 2011 subsequent evaluation, and his limited self help efforts, I find these elevated risk
assessments remain accurate and should not be discounted.
Until Mr. Harris shows that he understands and has dealt with the reasons he committed these
murders, including his substance abuse and anger problems, there is inadequate assurance that he
would not react violently if faced with conflict or other stressful situations in society.
CONCLUSION

J have considered the evidence in the record relevant to whether Mr. Harris remains dangerous.
When considered as a whole, J find the evidence I have discussed shows why he currently poses
a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, J reverse the decision to parole Mr.
Harris.

Decision Date: November 18,2011
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
STEVEN HOWELL, P-47024
Second-Degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS

On September 2, 1995, Mr. Howell severely abused and killed his one-year-old daughter
Bethany. That day, Mr. Howell drank several beers, smoked marijuana, and had been awake for
several days using methamphetamines. After returning home from a barbecue with Bethany, he
became angry when she spilled her juice and threw up on the couch. Mr. Howell then began to
physically abuse Bethany. Unfortunately, the specific nature of the abuse he inflicted on the
baby is unclear because he has never given a credible account of what happened. Instead he
claims that he did not mean to hurt his baby.
Mr. Howell has said in the past that he spanked Bethany a few times. He has also said that he
pushed on her stomach to try to dislodge food she was choking on. He says that when he took
her to the kitchen sink to wash her off, he put her down hard. After initially claiming that she
had fallen out of her crib, he now claims that she fell out of the sink when he was distracted. He
says that he left her alone in her crib while he picked up his girlfriend. When he returned home,
he claims he kept checking on Bethany, and when he realized something was wrong, he
unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate her. After his girlfriend called 911, emergency responders
took the baby to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
The severity of Bethany's injuries undermine Mr. Howell's version of events. The autopsy
report revealed that Bethany died from shock and blunt force trauma to her head and abdomen.
Her skull had been fractured, and she had sustained extensive lacerations to her liver as well as
contusions and bruises to her head, abdomen, back, genital area, ankle, and knees.
GOVERNING LAW

The question I must answer is whether Mr. HoweJl will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must adhere to the same legal standards as
the Board of Parole Hearings. The circumstances of the crime can provide evidence of current
dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the inmate's pre- or postincarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and mental state, indicate that the
circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008)
44 Cal.4th 1181, 1214.)

Steven Howell, P-47024
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
DECISION

The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Howell suitable for parole based on its findings that he
was under stress at the time of the murder, and is remorseful and accepts responsibility for the
crime, as well as on his participation in institutional programming.
I acknowledge Mr. Howell has made some efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He
participated in Alcoholics Anonymous in 2001 and Narcotics Anonymous from 2001 to 2006.
And through the Correctional Clinical Case Management System, he has attended Stress
Management Classes, Substance Abuse Program, Family Issues Group, and Lifers
Psychotherapy Process Group. He has also participated in the Lifers Support Group and
completed a parenting course. I commend Mr. Howell for taking these steps but they are
outweighed by negative factors that show he remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Howell brutally murdered his young daughter in a fit of rage and inflicted extensive internal
and external injuries on her. Baby Bethany had a fractured skull and lacerated liver, as well as
bruises on her abdomen, ankle, back, genital area, and knees. Her abdomen and head injuries
were severe enough to cause fatal hemorrhaging. And Bethany was the most helpless of victims.
She could not fight back against her father or summon help. Moreover, Mr. Howell ignored
several signs that Bethany required medical attention, including anal bleeding, bruising, and
vomiting. Instead of stopping his abuse of her and summoning help, Mr. Howell left her alone
while he picked up his girlfriend and then later refused to let his girlfriend touch Bethany when
she looked to be in pain.
Bethany's extensive injuries and Mr. Howell's 2011 statements to his psychologist and the Board
panel belie his purported acceptance of responsibility for the crime. Rather than acknowledging
his violent abuse of his baby daughter, Mr. Howell minimizes his culpability by depicting
himself as a well intentioned father. Mr. Howell told the psychologist, for example, that he
pushed on Bethany's stomach to try to remove pizza she was choking on. He said he then put
her in the kitchen sink to clean her up, but the baby fell out on her own when he was distracted.
He then says he put her dovm and kept checking on her. His depiction of the events is not
consistent with the extensive and severe injuries the baby suffered.
Mr. Howell's attempt to depict himself as a well-meaning father who tried unsuccessfully to care
for his child is further undermined by his statement to the Board that he was "in a rage." Being
in a rage implies that Mr. Howell was physically abusive towards his daughter, which of course
he must have been given the extent and severity of her injuries. But while he purports to accept
responsibility for her death, he does not acknowledge that he severely physically abused her. It
is clear in light of the forensic evidence and Mr. Howell's conflicting statements that the account
he has given leaves out important facts. I am troubled that he continues to minimize his
culpability and has not offered a credible explanation of his conduct on the day he murdered
Bethany. Until he does, Mr. Howell has given no reason to believe that he adequately
understands the reasons he murdered his daughter.

Steven HowelL P-47024
Second-Degree Murder
Page 3
Furthennore, while I am aware that Mr. Howell's 2011 psychologist assessed him as presenting a
low risk on all tested instruments, I do not find these assessments to be persuasive, The
psychologist accepted without question Mr. Howell's claim that falling out of the sink caused
Bethany's extensive injuries to her ankle, back, head, and knees.
Although the murder was directly related to Mr. Howell's anger problems and severe drug and
alcohol abuse, he has not sufficiently addressed those issues while in prison. His participation in
substance-abuse treatment programs has been limited, and he stopped participating altogether in
2006. Mr. Howell has also not taken an anger management class. Mr. Howell's failure to make
legitimate efforts to address the underlying causes for his violent behavior causes me concern
that he will continue to present a threat to society if released from prison.
I am also concerned that Mr. Howell has not been able to abide by the rules in prison. He
received five counseling chronos between 2005 and 2010. While Mr. Howell has not received a
serious disciplinary report for violent conduct, these incidents have occurred recently and
regularly-almost annually since 2005. IfMr. Howell cannot abide by prison rules, I am
concerned that he will also not be able to following society's laws if released.
CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Howell is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Howell.

Decision Date: November 18,2011
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
ANTONIO ALVARADO, C-09142
First-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STA TEMENT OF FACTS
On January 6, 1979, Mr. Alvarado's sister-in-law was staying with him and his common-law
wife because she had been beaten the night before by her husband, Billy Romo. Mr. Alvarado
and Mr. Romo had both been members of the Nuestra Familia gang. Mr. Alvarado was drinking
that day, and as he became intoxicated, he said he planned to kill Mr. Romo. He displayed a
loaded handgun and went to Mr. Romo's home where he shot Mr. Romo eight times, killing him.
Police arrested Alvarado the next day. Family members and witnesses said it was known that
Mr. Alvarado and Mr. Romo disliked each other and they may have previously argued over
drugs. They also said that Mr. Alvarado may have been trying to re-gain good status with the
Nuestra Familia by killing Mr. Romo, who had wanted to disassociate from the group.
Billy Romo is not the first person Mr. Alvarado killed. At the time of Mr. Romo's murder, Mr.
Alvarado had voluntary manslaughter charges pending against him. On June 23, 1977, Mr.
Alvarado fatally stabbed an unarmed man 19 times with a butcher knife. The victim, Steven
Romero, had kicked through Mr. Alvarado's front door because Mr. Alvarado owed him $200
for amphetamines. Police arrested Mr. Alvarado the next day, but released him on the theory the
homicide was justifiable. Mr. Alvarado was later charged with voluntary manslaughter.

GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Alvarado will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must adhere to the same legal standards as
the Board of Parole Hearings. The circumstances of the crime can provide evidence of current
dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the innlate's pre- or postincarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and mental state, indicate that the
circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008)
44 Cal. 4th 1181,1214.)

DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Alvarado suitable for parole based on his institutional
programming, lack of recent discipline, and realistic parole plans.

Antonio Alvarado, C-09142
First-degree murder
Page 2

I acknowledge Mr. Alvarado has made eff0!1s to improve himself while incarcerated. He earned
a GED in 1982 and completed vocational training in screenprinting. He has also participated in
self-help programs, including Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, Big Four AA Fellowship,
Alternative to Violence Project workshops, Anger Management, Fathers Behind Bars group,
Literacy Council, Inmate Employability Program, and Prison Ministry and Salvation Army
classes. I commend Mr. Alvarado for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by
negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Alvarado brutally murdered Mr. Romo in his own home. Mr. Alvarado told his 2011
psychologist that Mr. Romo pulled a knife on him before he shot him. Even if that is true, it
does not justify Mr. Alvarado shooting Mr. Romo eight times because Mr. Alvarado created a
situation where Mr. Romo would need to defend himself.
I am concerned that Mr. Alvarado minimizes this crime. Mr. Alvarado told his 2011
psychologist that he went to Mr. Romo's house to talk to Mr. Romo and tell him to stop being
violent with his wife. Similarly, he told the 2011 Board that he went to Mr. Romo's house to
talk to him because everyone else in the family was scared of Mr. Romo. Mr. Alvarado also told
the Board that the situation "went bad" because he and Mr. Romo "were antisocial persons." But
the record belies his depiction of the crime as an event where his and the victim's violent
tendencies derailed his helpful intentions. Mr. Alvarado told his wife's family members that he
was going over to Mr. Romo's home to kill him. And he displayed a loaded gun before leaving.
These actions are not consistent with Mr. Alvarado merely going to Mr. Romo' s house to talk.
That Mr. Alvarado did not mention this on two recent occasions he discussed the crime is
troubling. Until Mr. Alvarado shows that he understands what happened on the day of the
murder, I cannot be assured that he will not react violently to other situations upon his release.

Mr. Alvarado's extensive pattern of misconduct also leads me to conclude that he has not been
rehabilitated. Mr. Alvarado had three juvenile convictions and nearly four dozen adult
convictions. The bulk of these convictions were alcohol-related and a few involved violence.
Mr. Alvarado's bad behavior continued for much of his time in prison. Between 1979 and 1993,
he was disciplined 21 times for serious rules violations (many of which involved inmatemanufactured alcohol). He has also been counseled for minor misconduct nine times, most
recently in 2005 for refusing to report to his work assignment and in 2003 for disobeying a direct
order from prison staff. Mr. Alvarado's inability to abide by prison rules causes me concern that
he will be unable to live a law abiding life if released from prison.

CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Alvarado is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he
currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Alvarado.

Decision Date: December 9, 20 II

: :I. E~" "M"'='UN~I~ G\-: ~ Rli=\t:N- =J~~
~+-. -t-f'-1
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINA TE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
DANNY ROSALES, C-22367
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On January 14. 1979, Danny Rosales was spotted standing near a car parked in front of a house
with the car door open. The car's owner, Lilia Vasquez, went outside to check the vehicle.
Seeing nothing missing, she closed the car door and went back inside. When Alice De La Rosa
arrived at the house a few minutes later, Mr. Rosales was still in the area. Ms. Vasquez, Barbara
Romero, Olivia De La Rosa, and Alice De La Rosa went outside, confronted Mr. Rosales, and
found a gear shift knob belonging to Ms. Vasquez' vehicle in his pocket. One of the girls called
out to call the police. Mr. Rosales opened a knife he had in his waistband and stabbed all four
women. He stabbed Ms. Romero in the chest, killing her. The other three women survived.
Olivia was stabbed in the abdomen and left arm, Ms. Vasquez in the chest, and Alice in the chest
and abdomen.

GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Rosales will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must adhere to the same legal standards as
the Board of Parole Hearings. The circumstances of the crime can provide evidence of current
dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the inmate's pre- or postincarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and mental state, indicate that the
circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008)
44 Cal. 4th 1181,1214.)

DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings granted Mr. Rosales parole in response to two court orders.
I acknowledge Mr. Rosales has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He has
participated in Alcoholics Anonymous and the Substance Abuse Program and has completed a
variety of self-help courses and seminars on topics including conflict resolution, stress
management, and emotional awareness. I cOlnnlend Mr. Rosales for taking these positive steps.
But they are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Rosales' crime is vicious and disturbing. Mr. Rosales was an active Marine who senselessly
stabbed and slashed four women because he thought he might not look like "a man" when the

Danny Rosales, C-22367
Second-Degree Murder
Page 2
women detained him because they suspected him of breaking into one of their cars, In response,
he pulled out a knife and not only threatened the women with it, but brutally attacked them,
killing one and seriously injuring the others, His actions were an egregiously disproportionate
response to the situation and resulted in tragedy,
Although the psychologist who evaluated Mr. Rosales in 2009 commented that he "appears to
have gained insight into his personality, his emotional life, his thinking patterns, and his
substance abuse," he has not shown that he adequately understands why he snapped that day,
except to say that his substance abuse played a factor, as well as being accosted by the four
victims, But this explanation does not explain why he viciously attacked the four women with
his knife, Until Mr. Rosales confronts and deals with the true reasons he reacted so violently to
the situation, I am concerned that the issues underlying violent behavior remain unresolved,
I also find it concerning that Mr. Rosales did not appear to have genuine insight or remorse at his
most recent parole hearing, In this hearing, the Deputy Commissioner made it clear that he
would not have granted parole but for the court orders:
You have, in my opinion, an extreme lack of credibility, Your use of the victims'
names was nothing more, in my opinion, than a rehearsal because it was
suggested to you at the last hearing that you know the names of your victims, The
fact that you are still, even today, blaming the victims is abhorrent to me, You're
still contending with statements that you made to us that you were simply
cornered and defending yourself, when the fact ofthe matter was you took out a
13-inch knife and brutally slashed a group of women as thoughtless and cowardly
as I have seen in quite some time, In looking at you during the course of the
hearing, you were as far removed from participating in this hearing, again, in my
view, as anyone could be, I find no remorse, I find a virtual total lack of insight,
and I find you to be a continued danger to the community,
The panel members are in the best position to assess the demeanor and credibility of the inmate,
which are critical factors that play into the decision of whether to grant parole, They were
concerned about Mr. Rosales' credibility based on behavioral clues they picked up at the hearing,
Based on this, I conclude that he still presents a threat to public safety if released from prison,
CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record relevant to whether Mr. Rosales is currently
dangerous, and find the evidence I have discussed shows why he currently poses a danger to
society if released from prison, Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr. Rosales,

Decision Date: December 16, 2011
Governor, State of California

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
KIRN KIM, J-40983
First-degree murder

AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
In 1992, Kim Kim, Robert Chan, Mun Kang, Charles Choe, and Abraham Acosta attended the
same high school. Along with Stuart Tay they were planning to rob the home of a computer
parts supplier who Mr. Tay knew. After Mr. Chan became suspicious that Mr. Tay would reveal
the robbery plan, he devised a plan to kill Mr. Tay. The plan required the participation of Mr.
Kim, as well as Mr. Choe, Mr. Kang, and Mr. Acosta.
The day before the murder, Mr. Kim, Mr. Acosta, and Mr. Chan dug a hole in Mr. Acosta's
backyard to be used as Mr. Tay's grave. The next day, December 31, 1992, the entire group
rehearsed the murder. Mr. Chan then asked Mr. Tay to come over to Mr. Acosta's house. Mr.
Kim followed Mr. Tay to make sure he was alone. Mr. Kim remained outside the house as a
lookout. Once Mr. Tay went inside the garage, Mr. Acosta hit him from behind with a baseball
bat. Mr. Chan also struck Mr. Tay with a baseball bat, and then a few seconds later hit Mr. Tay
with a sledgehammer. Mr. Tay begged for his life during the beating that lasted for at least 10
minutes. Mr. Chan poured rubbing alcohol down Mr. Tay's mouth, checked Mr. Tay's pulse,
and because Mr. Tay was still alive, wrapped Mr. Tay's face with duct tape. He stayed alive for
about five minutes and then died of asphyxiation. Mr. Tay's body was buried in the hole in the
backyard. After the murder, Mr. Kim drove Mr. Tay's car to Compton and abandoned it.

GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Kim will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must adhere to the same legal standards as
the Board of Parole Hearings. The circumstances of the crime can provide evidence of current
dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the inmate's pre- or postincarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and mental state, indicate that the
circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (1n re Lawrence (2008)
44 Cal.4th 1181, 1214.)

DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Kim suitable for parole based on his maturity,
improved decision-making skills, and insight.

Kim Kim, J-40983
First-degree murder
Page 2
I acknowledge Mr. Kim has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He has earned
three college degrees, remained discipline-free, and completed three vocations. He has also
participated in self-help programming, including Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, Rapha
12-Step Program, Relapse Prevention Counseling, Convicts Reaching Out to People program,
Kairos Program, Nonviolent Conflict Resolution course, Power of Positive Thinking, Creative
Conflict Resolution workshops, and Inmate Work Training Incentive Program. He has held
prison jobs almost continuously since 1997. I commend Mr. Kim for taking these positive steps.
But they are outweighed by negative factors showing that he remains unsuitable for parole.
Mr. Tay's murder was senseless and extremely heinous. He was ambushed by people he thought
were friends, beaten with a sledgehammer and baseball bat for several minutes, and then forced
to ingest rubbing alcohol. The reason for this brutal attack was Mr. Chan's mere suspicion that
Mr. Tay might reveal a robbery plan. Mr. Kim participated in the murder plot, served as a
lookout, and disposed ofMr. Tay's car afterward. Despite knowing about the murder
beforehand and having attended grammar school with Mr. Tay, Mr. Kim callously failed to make
any attempt to contact authorities or warn Mr. Tay he was in danger as he entered the garage."
The evidence clearly establishes Mr. Kim's knowledge of and participation in the plot to kill Mr.
Tay. After being arrested, in a yvritten statement to police, Mr. Kim admitted that he had heard
Mr. Chan plan to kill Mr. Tay. Days before the crime Mr. Kim's friend Greg Temesvari heard
Mr. Chan ask Mr. Kim if he wanted to help dispose of a dead body. The day before the murder
Mr. Kim helped dig a grave in Mr. Acosta's backyard. On the day of the murder, Mr. Kim
attended a rehearsal of the murder that lasted 4S minutes according to Mr. Choe.
Despite all of this evidence ofMr. Kim's knowing participation in the murder plot, Mr. Kim still
tries to minimize his culpability. He told the 2011 Board only that he "knew ahead of time that
they were planning on hurting Mr. Tay," rather than murdering him. He told the 2008 Board that
the rehearsal only lasted five or ten minutes and that he "zoned out" because he was playing a
handheld video game. He told the same hearing panel that he was able to fall asleep while he
was supposed to be a lookout because he did not take Mr. Chan seriously. But after he was
arrested, he told police that while waiting outside Mr. Acosta's house he heard what sounded like
hitting sounds coming from the backyard. In light of the evidence in the record, Mr. Kim's
attempts to minimize his knowledge of and complicity in the murder plot are disingenuous and
show that he has not truly taken full responsibility for his role in Mr. Tay's murder. Until Mr.
Kim shows that he understands what happened before and during the murder, I find that he
remains a threat to participate in further acts of violence if released from prison.
CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence that is relevant to whether Mr. Kim is currently dangerous. When
considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows why he currently poses a
danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr. Kim.

Decision Date: Decemher 22. 2011

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
BERNARD HOUSTON, C-94974
First-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS

In 1983, Mr. Houston was allegedly beaten up by Constantino Jimenez. A few months later, on
August 21,1983, Mr. Houston had taken PCP and drank beer, and was going to buy drugs with
his friend James McDonald. Mr. Houston claims that he found his fiance with her clothes half
off, and she told him that Mr. Jimenez had tried to rape her. Mr. Houston found Mr. Jimenez
passed out drunk on the hood of a car. He stabbed Mr. Jimenez about a dozen times with a knife,
killing him. Police arrested Mr. Houston the next day.
GOVERNING LAW

The question I must answer is whether Mr. Houston will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must adhere to the same legal standards as
the Board of Parole Hearings. The circumstances of the crime can provide evidence of current
dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the inmate's pre- or postincarceration history, or the inmate's current demeanor and mental state, indicate that the
circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008)
44 Cal.4th 1181, 1214.)
DECISION

The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Houston suitable for parole based on his remorse and
insight, recent lack of discipline, parole plans, current age, and lack of juvenile history.
I acknowledge Mr. Houston has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He has
participated in self-help programming, including Alcoholics Anonymous, the Path to Peace
Addiction Recovery Program, Alternatives to Violence Programs, Anger Management, Balanced
Reentry Activity Group, Nonviolent Conflict Resolution Workshops, Islamic Education and
Human Development Course, Owning Your Own Business course, the Success Tools of the
Masters course, M.B.A. and Religious Ethics Course, and several parenting courses. He has also
held several prison jobs and completed vocational training in real estate and print technology. I
commend Mr. Houston for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by negative
factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.

Bernard Houston, C-94974
First-degree murder
Page 2
Mr. Houston viciously stabbed Mr. Jimenez to death when Mr. Jimenez was completely
defenseless because he was drunk and asleep. Mr. Jimenez was not a threat to Mr. Houston at
the time, and the murder was an irrational and disproportionate response to whatever motivations
Mr. Houston had for the crime.
The psychologist who evaluated Mr. Houston in 2010 found that Mr. Houston still has an
inadequate level of understanding into the factors that contributed to his decision to murder Mr.
Jimenez, including his deficient anger and impulse control, need for retribution, substance abuse,
and poor decision-making. The psychologist noted that Mr. Houston was unable to find any
character weaknesses in himself at all. Instead, the psychologist observed that Mr. Houston
appears to blame external factors for the crime, and in doing so, accepts limited responsibility
and appears to rationalize and minimize his attack of Mr. Jimenez. The psychologist also
observed that Mr. Houston exhibited signs of grandiosity and deceitfulness, and appeared to lack
some remorse and guilt. These findings contributed to the psychologist rating Mr. Houston as a
moderate risk for violent recidivism, a medium risk of general recidivism, and an overall lowmoderate risk for violence in the free community.
Mr. Houston also does not seem to understand the extent of his drug and alcohol abuse problems.
He has a documented history of problems with alcohol, heroin, LSD, PCP, barbiturates, and
cocaine use. In fact, at the time of the murder, he was under the influence of PCP and on his way
to buy more drugs. Yet he told the psychologist that he did not have a substance abuse problem
and was never addicted. He says he has attended Alcoholics Anonymous because the parole
board had recommended that he attend. Mr. Houston's statements indicate that he does not
understand the seriousness of his substance abuse issues, and undermine any confidence that he
is truly committed to sobriety or continued participation in relapse prevention programs. Given
the relationship that his alcohol and drug use had to the murder, I am concerned that if released
from prison he would relapse and become violent.
Until Mr. Houston shows that he adequately understands the factors that contributed to his
decision to commit murder, has taken adequate measures to address them, and shows a genuine
commitment to remaining sober, I find that he remains dangerous if released back into society.

CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence relevant to whether Mr. Houston remains dangerous. When
considered as a whole, I find the evidence I have discussed shows that he currently poses a
danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr.
Houston.
Decision Date: December 22, 2011

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE PAROLE RELEASE REVIEW
(Penal Code Section 3041.2)
RAFAEL GONZALEZ, K-32981
Second-degree murder
AFFIRM:
MODIFY:

x

REVERSE:

STATEMENT OF FACTS
Mr. Gonzalez was a member of a tagging crew and an associate of the EI Sereno gang, as were
Danny Guitierrez and Jose Espinoza. On the night of January 7, 1996, the three men robbed Paul
Mulder, who had just finished using an ATM inside a convenience store. Mr. Gonzalez asked
Mr. Mulder for $5, and Mr. Mulder refused. Mr. GuitielTez then broke a beer bottle over Mr.
Mulder's head while Mr. Gonzalez took Mr. Mulder's pager and punched him in the face
numerous times. Mr. Gonzalez, Mr. Guitierrez, and Mr. Espinoza then fled. Mr. Mulder
survived but had vision problems in one eye for a few months after the robbery.
About three hours later, Larry Peters was using the ATM in the same convenience store. Mr.
Guitierrez and Fabian Larrea were walking with Mr. Gonzalez to a nearby bus stop. Mr.
Gutierrez went into the store and may have gotten into an argument with Mr. Peters. Mr.
Gonzalez, Mr. Guitierrez, and Mr. Larrea waited for Mr. Peters to leave the store. Once Mr.
Peters exited, Mr. Gonzalez hit him in the face a few times and knocked him to the ground. Mr.
Gonzalez then grabbed Mr. Peters's bag of purchases and left. Mr. Guitierrez and Mr. Fabian
continued to physically assault Mr. Peters and then stabbed and killed him.

GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Mr. Gonzalez will pose a current danger to the public if
released from prison. In answering this question, I must adhere to the same legal standards as
the Board of Parole Hearings. The circumstances of the crime can provide evidence of current
dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the inmate's pre- or postincarceration history, or the imnate's current demeanor and mental state, indicate that the
circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008)
44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.)

DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Mr. Gonzalez suitable for parole based on his insight, lack
of criminal history, and positive institutional behavior and self-help programming.

Rafael Gonzalez, K-3298l
Second-degree Mmder
Page 2
I acknowledge Mr. Gonzalez has made efforts to improve himself in prison. He has only
received one disciplinary report and he has completed three vocations. He has participated in
self-help programming, including Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, Substance Abuse
Program, Life Plan for Recovery, Alternatives to Violence Project, Anger Management,
Criminal Gang Members Anonymous, Behavior Modification program, and Breaking Barriers.
He has also held several prison jobs. I commend Mr. Gonzalez for taking these positive steps.
But they are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
The robbery and the mmder Mr. Gonzalez committed were callous, premeditated, brutal attacks
on unsuspecting victims. According to the autopsy report, Mr. Peters was stabbed five times on
the right side of his face, once in the chin, and once in his chest. The chest wound penetrated his
heart and caused his death.
Mr. Gonzalez tries to minimize his role in the mmder. He told the psychologist who evaluated
him in 2008 that when Mr. Peters came out of the store, "I robbed him of his groceries. 1 looked
at his stuff, 1 left with his stuff and 1 was gone. . .. After a couple days, 1 heard someone had
passed away." Mr. Gonzalez made no mention of the fact that he was the one who initiated the
physical attack on Mr. Peters by hitting him repeatedly in the face and knocking him to the
ground. The psychologist found that Mr. Gonzalez fails to accept responsibility for his own
actions in the crime and has some difficulty understanding that the robbery he committed was a
major contributing factor to the victim's death. The psychologist noted that there is significant
evidence that Mr. Gonzalez continues to lack the skills and insight necessary to decrease his
violence risk.
Similarly, when asked to describe the commitment offense at his 20 II hearing, Mr. Gonzalez
simply offered that when Mr. Peters came out of the store, "we confronted him, and 1 ended up
taking Mr. Peters' stuff from him and running away." It was only when specifically asked later
in the hearing if he had hit Mr. Peters that Mr. Gonzalez acknowledged that he did in fact hit Mr.
Peters in the face a couple times and knocked him to the ground. The physical assault that Mr.
Gonzalez committed put Mr. Peters in a vulnerable position that made it easier for Mr. Guitienez
and Mr. Larrea to continue to attack him and then stab him to death. Until Mr. Gonzalez accepts
full responsibility for his violent role in the mmder, and shows that he understands and has
addressed the factors that led him to engage in this violent behavior, 1 find that he continues to
present a threat of engaging in further violent behavior if he is released from prison.
CONCLUSION

1 have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Mr. Gonzalez is currently
dangerous. When considered as a whole, 1 find the evidence 1 have discussed shows why he
cunently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, 1 reverse the decision to
parole Mr. Gonzalez.
Decision Date: December 30, 2011

 

 

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