SLO County man turned down for medical parole
May 25, 2011
A San Luis Obispo County man’s plea for medical release under a new law aimed at cutting the number of inmates and the cost of care in the nation’s largest state prison system was denied by California parole officials on Tuesday. [SacramentoBee]
The program is intended to parole inmates who are medically incapacitated, saving the state millions of dollars a year.
A stabbing behind bars left Steven Martinez, 42, a quadriplegic, and raised his cost of incarceration to about $625,000 per year. He’s served 12 years of a 157 years-to-life sentence.
Parole board Commissioner John Peck said after a four-hour hearing that Martinez “would pose an unreasonable threat to public safety” because he has said others could carry out his repeated threats against prison nurses and guards.
The cost of medical care for paroled inmates could be paid by Medicaid, private insurance and prisoner finances. The program is expected to lower the high cost of providing guards to watch over paralyzed or comatose inmates.
Another San Luis Obispo County former resident, John Joseph Swesey, 72, is also scheduled for a medical release hearing. He is serving 24 years for burglary, making terrorist threats and possessing a firearm as a felon.
In 2004, Peter and Maria Delvaglio were working to evict Swesey from a San Luis Obispo apartment building they owned. A few days later, Swesey broke into his landlords’ home and told Peter Delvaglio he was going to kill him, according to court records.
Peter Delvaglio locked himself in an upstairs bedroom and called 911.
Meanwhile, Swesey fired a shot near Maria Delvaglio’s head and ordered her upstairs.
Upon arrival, San Luis Obispo police officers ordered Swesey to surrender his firearm. Swesey pushed Maria Delvaglio in front of him and during a struggle she was shot in the arm.
Four more inmates are scheduled for early medical release hearings. They are Juan Garcia Sandoval, 78; Craig Alvin Lemke, 48; John Michael Diaz, 61, and Edward Ortiz, 58.