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Maldonado uses Hollywood killing to raise money

June 28, 2013|By Paige St. John
  • Former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado holds a news conference to voice opposition to Gov. Jerry Brown's corrections policy known as realignment.
Former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado holds a news conference to voice opposition… (Don Bartletti, Los Angeles…)

The stabbing death of a woman who attempted to take photographs of the homeless on Hollywood's Walk of Fame is being seized by a potential candidate for governor -- even if the crime doesn't fit his campaign.

Abel Maldonado, championing a ballot initiative to roll back Gov. Jerry Brown's prison realignment program, on Thursday circulated material asking for money to "stand against Brown and his dangerous policies."

The solicitation cites the alleged killer of Christine Calderon, stabbed to death June 18 after she refused to pay a group of homeless men for a photograph she had snapped of them. "Just last week Dustin James Kinnear, who was released early under AB109, stabbed and killed an innocent woman in Hollywood," Maldonado's missive states.

Kinnear, Calderon's accused killer, was not released from prison early. Brown's prison realignment bill, AB109, released no one early from prison but required counties to begin housing low-level felons and parole violators. Low-level offenders released from prison are now put on county probation.

Records provided by the California Department of Corrections show Kinnear served time in state prison on an assault conviction before his release in April to the custody of Los Angeles County probation. His three-year prison sentence was shortened to four months because he received credit for 14 months spent in L.A. County jail awaiting trial.

The transient had a long history of mental illness and run-ins with the police, including 46 arrests, and a court order that he receive psychiatric treatment. After prison, he was arrested four more times on local charges.

"Kinnear was out on the streets earlier than he should be, because of the overcrowding caused by AB109," said Jeffrey Corless, Maldonado's spokesman.

It is not the first time Maldonado has linked a newsworthy crime to his campaign despite no direct connection to prison release. The day he launched his campaign earlier this year, he recited an alleged rapist/murderer who had no connection with prison reform or early releases, landing him in trouble with the state NAACP leader, who decried "Willie Horton-style racial politics."

Maldonado also posted a tweet about the Hollywood murder:

ALSO:

Maldonado's 'early release' repeal gets wrong offender

Maldonado takes on Jerry Brown, prison realignment

NAACP demands Maldonado apologize for 'racial politics'

paige.stjohn@latimes.com

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