OAKLAND — A parolee forced to wear an electronic tracking anklet robbed and killed a woman despite the device, Oakland police said.
The suspect, Grayland Winbush, 19, of Berkeley, was arrested on suspicion of the murder while in jail facing a charge of robbing a gas station, also committed while he was supposedly wearing the ankle bracelet.
"It's a travesty this kid was out," said Police Sgt. Dave Kozicki. "He's supposed to be on the monitoring thing and he's out killing someone."
Winbush is a parolee from the California Youth Authority. He was convicted in 1992 for a robbery and was kept an additional three years at the Youth Authority because of repeated confrontations with inmates and guards.
Under the law, the Youth Authority was forced to parole him 12 days before the Dec. 22, 1995, slaying, but ordered him to wear the bracelet so his whereabouts could be monitored.
The ankle bracelet stopped transmitting at 5:18 p.m. Dec. 22.
Police say that sometime between 7 and 9 p.m. that night, Winbush and an acquaintance, Norman Patterson, 19, also of Berkeley, entered the home of Erika Beeson, 20. They allegedly stole a shotgun, $300 and some stereo equipment, and strangled and stabbed Beeson.
The Youth Authority did not know the bracelet had stopped transmitting until police called the agency Dec. 26 saying they wanted to talk to Winbush about the killing.
Youth Authority spokeswoman Sarah Andrade said the oversight occurred in her department because of the holiday weekend.
In January, a warrant was issued for Winbush after he disobeyed a parole order to stay home, but he was not found until police arrested him on suspicion of the April 4 gas station robbery.
They also arrested Patterson, who confessed to the Beeson killing and implicated Winbush.
Andrade said 106 of the Youth Authority's 6,100 parolees wear the bracelets.
"It is not a system without some problems," she said. "There are many checks and balances built in, but it is not flawless."