SACRAMENTO -- California's growing trouble with sex offenders removing their GPS monitors now involves an alleged murder.
A convicted sex offender with a history of repeated arrests for ditching his state-mandated GPS tracker is accused of killing his 76-year-old grandmother, Racheal Russell. Her body was found Tuesday in a wheelbarrow in the backyard of her Stockton home. Stockton police say Sidney Jerome DeAvila, 39, was arrested in a nearby park several hours later.
California has issued some 3,400 arrest warrants for state parolees accused of disabling or removing their GPS ankle monitors since the penalty for such violations was greatly reduced in October 2011. Most of those cases involve sex offenders.
In the past, such violations meant a potential year in state prison. Now, however, parole violators are the responsibility of county sheriffs and face no more than 180 days in jail. In areas where those jails are overcrowded, The Times found that sex offenders and other parole violators were often released within a day or not held at all.