On May 21, 2015, the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) granted parole to inmate Richard Harris Carey, who was serving a seven-years-to-life sentence for having committed aggravated mayhem, a violation of Penal Code section 205, against Tuolumne County resident Daniel Titchenal on November 18, 1994.
On November 19, 1994, Daniel Titchenal was found by a neighbor after having been severely beaten in the face and head with a claw hammer. Breathing and conscious, but unable to speak because of his injuries, Mr. Titchenal identified the perpetrator as Inmate Carey, a friend who Mr. Titchenal had generously taken into his home. It was later discovered that Inmate Carey – who was high on methamphetamine and marijuana – had initially struck Mr. Titchenal while Mr. Titchenal was asleep and continued to hit him in the head no less than seven times and then had stolen Mr. Titchenal’s money, car keys, and gun. After stealing Mr. Titchenal’s car, Inmate Carey dumped the claw hammer in a creek, drove to Stockton, but then returned to Mr. Titchenal’s home hours later. Upon his return, Inmate Carey learned that Mr. Titchenal was still alive because he could hear his labored breathing. Inmate Carey kicked Mr. Titchenal and ripped the phone cord from the wall so that Mr. Titchenal could not call for help. Inmate Carey turned himself into authorities, confessed, and pled guilty to the crime of aggravated mayhem in May 1995. Inmate Carey was sentenced by Tuolumne County Superior Court Judge DuTemple to seven-years-to-life and was received into the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on May 26, 1995.
Inmate Carey had been denied parole five times prior to the hearing on 5-21-15. He was last issued a three year denial of parole in 2013. However, pursuant to BPH’s sua sponte power to advance hearings for those inmates granted three year denials, Inmate Carey’s parole hearing was advanced from August 2016 to May 2015. Presiding over the May 21, 2015 parole hearing were BPH Commissioner Montes and Deputy Commissioner Gardner. Mr. Titchenal’s brother and daughter attended the hearing in person and Tuolumne County Deputy District Attorney Cassandra Ann Jenecke appeared via teleconference.
The Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office vehemently opposed the granting of parole for Inmate Carey and argued that the heinous nature of the life offense, his history of violence while in and out of prison, his unstable social history, his admission to a “struggle with honesty” about the life crime, and his sustained lack of insight and remorse for his actions showed that Inmate Carey continues to present a substantial risk of danger to the public should he be released. Mr. Titchenal’s brother gave his own victim impact statement and he read into the record Mr. Titchenal’s written statement. However, the most impactful and powerful was the statement of Mr. Titchenal’s daughter, which she tearfully gave in-person to the Board.
After a fifty minute deliberation, the Board chose to give Inmate Carey a grant of parole. Citing Inmate Carey’s age (58 years old), minimal serious rule violations while incarcerated, extensive institutional programming, and viable parole plans, the Board opined that Inmate Carey had a reduced risk of violent recidivism and did not pose a substantial threat of danger to the public. The Board also incorporated a Comprehensive Risk Assessment written By Dr. Jatinder Singh, who opined that Inmate Carey represented a low risk for violence and that he presented a non-elevated risk relative to life-term inmates and other parolees. The case will go before Governor Brown who will have 120 days to reverse the decision. The Board did advise Mr. Carey that he could not return to Tuolumne County without authorization from his parole officer. He will be paroled to Los Angeles County.