Tuolumne County District Attorney Laura Krieg announced today that Howard William Love of Ceres was found unsuitable for parole at an August 17, 2016 hearing of the State Board of Parole Hearings held at the California Institution for Men in Chino, California. Deputy District Attorney Cassandra Ann Jenecke personally appeared at the hearing with four of the victim David Lee Orozco’s family members.
In May 1982, Love and his two co-offenders Keith Adcox and Annette T., conspired to rob a fisherman. Love and Adcox set out armed with a .22 caliber rifle and a large wood club. They came upon Orozco, and hid from his sight. For the first time, we learned at this hearing that Adcox may have had second thoughts, but Love, who was fed up with his co-offenders, encouraged Adcox to carry out their original plans of armed robbery and murder. Adcox then shot Orozco in the head. Both Adcox and Love then stole Orozco’s wallet and car keys, while dumping the gun and club in the Tuolumne River near Long Barn. On May 30, 1982, a witness reported a distinctive vehicle leaving the scene where Orozco’s vehicle was dumped in a drainage canal in Ceres. Love, Adcox, and Annette T. were subsequently identified and arrested.
Annette T., a juvenile, testified against both Love and Adcox in exchange for being tried as a juvenile. She was sentenced to a commitment with the California Youth Authority. Adcox, now 55, was found guilty of first degree murder, several enhancements, armed robbery, and grand theft of a vehicle. He was sentenced to death, and remains on death row at San Quentin State Prison. Through a change of venue, Love was tried and convicted of first degree murder, armed robbery, and grand theft of a vehicle by a jury in El Dorado County. Initially sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, Love’s original convictions were overturned in 1985. He then pleaded guilty to a violation of first degree murder and armed robbery in exchange for a sentence of 25-years-to-life in prison. While waiting to be resentenced in 1985, Love attempted to escape the Tuolumne County Jail. He pled guilty to the escape and was sentenced to an additional sixteen months imprisonment, to be served consecutive to his life term.
On August 17, 2016, the People argued strenuously against Love’s release based on the heinous and callous nature of the underlying crime, Love’s prior poor performance on probation or parole, his extensive and continuous criminal violations while incarcerated, a lack of sobriety while in a controlled environment, and his continued risk for violent recidivism.
Love was last denied parole in 2009 for seven years. Since then, he has accrued six sustained serious rule violations involving illicit substance abuse and possession of drug contraband. Moreover, a Comprehensive Risk Assessment by forensic psychologist L. Hazelwood of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation found that Love continued to pose a moderate or elevated risk of violence when compared to other long-term inmates and parolees.
The Board of Parole Hearings, represented by Commissioner Ali Zarrinnam and Associate Chief Deputy Commissioner Richards Jallins agreed and denied Love parole for another seven years, finding that he represented an unreasonable risk of danger to society if released. This was Love’s fifth parole hearing and second seven year denial. 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.