Sonora, California – Tuolumne County District Attorney Laura Krieg announced today that Steven Karpan of Sonora was found unsuitable for parole at a November 17, 2015 hearing by the State Board of Parole Hearings held at Correctional Training Facility State Prison in Soledad, California. He was given a three-year denial and will again be eligible for parole in 2018.
Deputy District Attorney Cassandra Ann Jenecke appeared in-person at the hearing with the victim’s daughter. Ms. Jenecke argued for continued confinement based on Karpan’s continued criminal violations while incarcerated, a lack of sufficient insight, and weak parole plans. The Board of Prison Hearings agreed and denied Karpan parole basing their decision on the gruesome and heinous nature of Karpan’s commitment crime and his continued lack of insight, criminal history of domestic violence and battery, severe substance abuse issues, lack of impulse control, recent serious rules violation while in prison, and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Forensic Psychologist C. Carman’s assessment that Karpan still poses a moderate risk for violent recidivism despite his age and attempts at leading a pro-social life while incarcerated.
Karpan pled guilty to second degree murder in 1994 for the murder of Dorothy Ostrom, a Modesto resident who owned a vacation home in Pine Mountain Lake. A missing person’s report and an anonymous tip led the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department to Ms. Ostrom’s utility room where her horribly beaten body was found head first in a freezer, which had a toilet tank placed on top of the freezer lid. Mr. Karpan was seen driving Ms. Ostrom’s car and attempted to use her credit cards after pawning her video camera. His fingerprints were found on the murder weapon, the toilet tank, and the utility room door. At the time of the offense and to this day, Karpan continues to claim he does not remember the killing.
Karpan has been serving a fifteen-years-to-life sentence and has been denied parole two previous times (2005 and 2010). The Panel’s decision will be under review for 120 days and will be finalized unless the Governor refers the decision for en-banc review by the Board of Parole Hearings.