Parole of SLO skateboard killer up for debate
April 21, 2015
A 25-year-old San Luis Obispo man, who at 13 used a skateboard to beat an 87-year-old man to death, appeared in local court Monday, where attorneys debated the legitimacy of Governor Jerry Brown’s decision to keep him locked up in a state hospital.
In 2005, Robert Holguin broke into the San Luis Obispo trailer of 87-year-old Gerald O’Malley and beat him to death using a skateboard. Holguin then stole O’Malley’s car.
After a jury convicted him of murder, Holguin was sent to youth correctional center. Officials later transferred him to Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino.
In March 2014, the California Juvenile Parole Review Board found that Holguin no longer posed a threat to the public and voted unanimously for his release. But, Brown vetoed the parole decision after state and federal investigators said Holguin hacked into a state-owned computer and sent a threatening email to the governor.
“i feel you should really eat my dick and eat it over and over again you better hope i never see you i will shoot you with a real gun and my cock. have a nice day and god bless,” Holguin allegedly wrote.
On Monday, San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Linda Hurst asked Holguin how he was doing. Holguin said it’s going really well and that he had been in an apprentice program.
Corene Kendrick, an attorney with the nonprofit Prison Law Office in Berkeley argued that Brown’s authority to reverse parole decisions does not apply to minors. Kendrick also argued that Brown did not show Holguin is currently a risk to the public, and the governor wrongly based his decision on county probation reports, rather than evidence presented at the parole board hearing.
Holguin is currently in the custody of California’s juvenile system, and he can remain under its control until he turns 25 in Dec. 2016.
Rachel Campbell, a deputy attorney general represented Brown at Monday’s hearing. Campbell argued that Proposition 89, which voters passed in 1988, gives the governor broad authority to reverse parole rulings.
The law does not limit Brown’s veto power to adult cases, Campbell argued. She also said Brown based his decision on facts presented to the parole board and that the governor did establish that Holguin posed a threat.
Hurst continued the court hearing to give her time to review transcripts from the parole hearing. Hurst’s decision is likely to be appealed.
As a child, Holguin was known to have learning difficulties, possibly stemming from brain damage he suffered.
Get links to breaking news stories, like CCN on Facebook.