Confirmed: Killer discharged from parole despite agent’s danger warnings (UPDATED)

Nov 9th, 2012 | By | Category: Alternatives to Public Safety, Crime and Non-Punishment, Parole, Realignment, Spotlight
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XREF: Prematurely discharged offender kills 2, injures 2, kills self

The Board of Parole Hearings overrode the recommendation of the supervising agent to keep Lawrence Jones on parole. They were wrong and people are dead as a likely result.

Officer objected to Fresno meat plant shooter’s parole release

Marc Benjamin and Pablo Lopez | The Fresno Bee
The man who went on a rampage at a Fresno meat processing plant Tuesday had been released from parole after only a year over the objections of his parole agent.

State officials say shorter paroles are appropriate when ex-convicts demonstrate they can stay on the straight and narrow. But parole agents argue that tragedies such as Tuesday’s can result from shorter paroles, and they say the state is abbreviating paroles to save money.

Lawrence Nathaniel Jones, 42, shot four coworkers Tuesday — killing Salvador Diaz, 32, and Manuel Verdin, 34 — before turning his gun on himself. A third victim, Arnulfo Conriqquez, 28, remained in serious condition Thursday at Community Regional Medical Center, and a fourth victim, Fatima Lopez, 32, was treated at Community on Tuesday and released…

Jones was released from parole May 1 after 11 months.

A few years ago, most parolees weren’t considered successful until they went two years without violations, and many had to remain on parole for three years without violations, said Melinda Silva, president of the Parole Agent Association of California and a parole agent in the Sacramento area.

Even a year is too little time for ex-convicts to demonstrate that they are clean and lawful, Silva said, especially if — like Jones — they have a long drug, alcohol or criminal history.

“We do ourselves, the community and the parolees a disservice by letting them off (supervision) early,” she said…(Full text at Fresno Bee)

Paco’s sources have filled in some of the blanks for us.

A review of the Discharge Review submitted by the AOR indicates the agent explicitly labeled Jones a danger to the community, calling for a retain action.

The Unit Supervisor “DOP‘d” (rejected) the discharge recommendation, forwarding it to the District Administrator (DA), who concurred with the recommendation to discharge. The BPH then discharged the offender in concurrence with the US and DA, neither of whom knew the offender.

Interestingly, the US is a retired annuitant and the DA is a PA III in the “acting” in the capacity of DA.

On condition of anonymity, one irrefutable source reports, “The US was an annuitant who was given marching orders to discharge parolees. He knows he fucked up now, but he did what he was told. Good luck getting him to publicly admit this. The Acting DA signed off because he didn’t want to disagree with the annuitant.”

So, a greedy retiree made a bad call, doubtless fearing his services would be terminated should he fail to DOP retain actions. Then, the acting DA went along with the greedy gutless old fart because s/he didn’t want to be seen as contradicting the retiree. After all, it may have hurt his feelings.

“Only the agent can say she did what was best/prudent,” says the same insider. “The other two get to live with it. Especially the annuitant.”

Unfortunately, 2 human beings don’t get to live with it at all–Their survivors get to live with it.

In that context, Paco feels no sympathy at all for those in CDCR who must “live with it.” -

Addendum:

As documented in the comments thread, several readers insist Paco’s source erred in asserting the acting DA concurred with the Retiree US and DOP‘d the AOR‘s retain recommendation.  They claim the acting DA is receiving undeserved  heat as a result of the alleged error.

I spoke with one agent at length and given the detailed knowledge of the case he expressed, I am convinced my source was misinformed on that one matter.

Insofar as I have yet to receive a copy of the “Vote Sheet,” I relied on the word of a known source that the facts were as stated.  As I now have 2 reputable individuals who insist my source is in error, it is clear I cannot stand by the contested assertion.  So, let the record show the individual whom I did not name, along with several of his/her associates, insist the acting DA has been wrongly accused.  Thus, absent documentation to the contrary, these individuals must be taken at their words. 

I apologize, without qualification, for any discomfort it may have caused anyone.  Agents are asked to stop giving this person the blues.

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11 Comments to “Confirmed: Killer discharged from parole despite agent’s danger warnings (UPDATED)”

  1. FXSTC1 says:

    A return rate of 70% is an indication that the system is working. Lawyers who see it otherwise have something to gain and or just too far away from street level reality. Most felons in the system started their career during childhood and will be doing life by bits and pieces. The best thing to do is hook them up before they get too far out of line if you can. Teach a felon a trade and he will steal all your freaking tools or beat you over the head with them.

  2. Warrior31 says:

    First of all, I was a Second Striker Agent and one of the Parole Agents that was laid off during Wave #2, on 10/30/12, due to AB109. This is exactly why I never recommeded discharge on parolee’s with criminal records similar to this one. Also, the BPH is discharging parolees that are current Parolee at Large cases and have warrants for their arrest. The public has no idea whats going on.

  3. phil says:

    Yet no mention that this is a second striker, that as a result of AB109 is no longer on parole. That’s where the real story is and the fact that CCPOA elected did not oppose AB109. They endorsed AB109 and every politician that voted for it.

  4. Betty Blue PA says:

    Get the facts. The PAI recommended retain, the PAIII annuitant DOP’d, recommending discharge. Then the Acting DA DOP’d the retired PAIII noting it was a second strike case. It was referred to the BPH noting retain on the vote sheet. The only one recommending discharge was the annuitant PAIII and the BPH.

    • phil says:

      That is correct please retract or correct the article the acting DA DOP’d the Retired US and now he’s (the Acting DA who’s name you can read) catching crap because of what your article is printing.

    • pacovilla says:

      If either of you have documents to refute my source, send them. Otherwise, I stand by the post as written. The person I quoted was very clear that both the US and DA DOP’d the PA and I quoted that source. If a correction is in order, I want to get it right. However, you’re going to have to do more than just asserting the information is wrong.

  5. Big_E says:

    Undoubtedly, lawyers will go after the State and the State will settle for millions. Garrido set the precedent.

  6. Gadfly says:

    Paco,

    It is situations like the one outlined here that raises questions about the purpose and function of parole. Most citizens have no clue what goes on within the machinery of the prison system and probably accept that when a convict has been released from prison on parole, that there was demonstrable proof and good reason for the early release. The truth is parole is more like a game of Beat the Clock. In this case, the decision-makers gambled, took an unnecessary and unconscionable risk, and people were killed and injured as a result.

    At the least the press is making some noise. The lawyers will be next, I suspect.

    • Bob Walsh says:

      With the state preparing to dump about 9,000 parolees out of the system that have absconded or otherwise refused to go along with the program (merely to save money and having to pretend to look for them) I strongly suspect that a LOT more of the general public is about to get a lot more acquainted with parolees than they would care to.