By Larry Judkins
Glenn County Observer
Francisco Medina was just 18 years old when he committed an act that not only robbed Christopher Clark of his life, but robbed himself of his own young adulthood.
It has now been more than 22 years – well over half of Francisco Medina’s lifetime – since Medina murdered Clark in the streets of downtown Willows.
For Medina, what could have been a period of joyous milestones – graduations, engagement and marriage, and births of children – is instead a period dominated by walls, locks and guards, the sole purposes of which are to totally stifle individual liberty, thereby making all significant milestones (with the possible exception of that final milestone, death) impossible.
On October 28, 1999, Medina gunned down Christopher Clark, 19, near Sycamore and Butte Streets in Willows. Medina was reportedly assisted by four others, two of them juveniles.
It was reported that Clark and Medina belonged to rival gangs. One of Medina’s fellow gang members (and provider of the weapon with which Clark was shot), parolee Edwin Speer, is said to have taken a beating from Clark or Clark’s gang, thereby making revenge the motive for the murder.
Medina was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. His first parole hearing took place in 2013, and, obviously, parole was denied.
In 2017, he was convicted of another felony: possession of heroin in prison. This added two more years to his sentence.
On August 14, 2020, another parole hearing for Medina was conducted. Again, parole was denied.
Most recently, a parole hearing for Medina was held on February 18, 2022. The parole board denied his chance for release for three years, at which time he will be well into his 40s.
And over these three years, the one precious life he will ever know, will continue to waste away behind the walls of prison.