Sonora, California – Tuolumne County District Attorney Laura Krieg announced today that the Board of Parole Hearings Executive Board has referred the grant of parole given to Gary White of Sonora in August 2015 for a rescission hearing. Specifically, the Board ordered the rescission panel to consider whether the panel that granted parole on August 25, 2015 committed a fundamental error resulting in an improvident grant.
White was convicted by a jury of attempted first degree murder and second degree robbery. In 1989, White and his co-conspirator Chalen Selvian forced their way into the Foster Farms Restaurant with the intent to steal money. The clerk present at the time, Pamela Comer, was led into the walk-in refrigerator and shot once in the shoulder by Selvian and twice – once in the head and once through her arm – by White. Ms. Comer was left for dead in the refrigerator and was found an hour later by her husband. Ms. Comer survived, but was severely and permanently injured.
On December 4, 2015, Governor Edmund Brown referred White’s grant of parole for En Banc Review pursuant to Penal Code section 3041.1. Governor Brown cited concerns regarding White’s lengthy history of gang involvement and violence in prison, his attendance at relatively few self-help classes, and confidential information suggesting possible serious misconduct after White’s self-proclaimed dissociation from the Nazi Low Riders in 2009. It is worth noting that District Attorneys’ offices are not allowed access to confidential information maintained by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Due to the Governor’s referral, the Executive Board heard public comments regarding Mr. White’s grant of parole on December 22, 2015. Deputy District Attorney Cassandra Jenecke appeared and urged the Board to refer White’s grant of parole for a rescission hearing. DDA Jenecke argued that the August 2015 panel made an improvident grant of parole because White’s extensive criminal history and gang activity while in-custody, his lack of insight, and the heinous nature of the crime showed he needed more time to demonstrate his commitment to avoiding non-violence.
A rescission hearing is a hearing to evaluate whether there is good cause to postpone or rescind a parole release date. A rescission hearing is scheduled based on new information that may indicate parole should not occur, or identification of a fundamental error that may have resulted in an improvident grant of parole. A rescission hearing is typically conducted by a panel of three, at least two of whom are Commissioners. The inmate is provided an attorney at this hearing. The inmate has the ability to call witnesses for evidentiary purposes. A representative from the District Attorney’s office of the committing county, the victim’s next of kin, and/or the victim may also attend.