Parole denied for murderer

By Larry Judkins

Glenn County Observer

For the second time, murderer Gerardo Valenzuela has been denied parole.

On Jan. 14 of this year, a parole hearing was held for inmate Valenzuela. Deputy District Attorney Michael Coffey attended the hearing on behalf of the People of Glenn County to oppose his release.

After a hearing that lasted more than three hours, the parole board determined that Valenzuela continues to pose an unreasonable risk to the public. He was denied his parole for three years.

About five years ago, on Feb. 1, 2017, at Valenzuela’s first parole hearing, he was denied parole and found unsuitable for release from prison for an additional five years. This parole board hearing was attended by then-Deputy District Attorney (now-Assistant District Attorney) Ruby Neumann at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego.

In 1998, Valenzuela beat Ventura Ruiz to death with a hammer, then attempted to do the same to Efrain Garcia. He was convicted of second degree murder, and attempted second degree murder, with special allegations P.C. 12022(b)(1) (use of a dangerous or deadly weapon – in this case, a hammer – in the commission of a felony or attempted felony), and P.C. 12022.7(a) (infliction of great bodily injury on a person during the commission of a felony).

P.C. 12022(b)(1) adds three years to a sentence, while P.C. 12022.7(a) adds a year. Valenzuela was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.

The judge in this case was Angus Saint-Evens. The prosecutor was Glenn County District Attorney Robert Holzapfel.

Valenzuela’s attorney was Public Defender Albert Smith.

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