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Lawmakers ask county to explain releases of parole violators

March 06, 2013|By Paige St. John
  • San Joaquin County police on Feb. 26 arrested Sidney DeAvila, a convicted sex offender repeatedly jailed for violating parole. He is charged with the murder and rape of his grandmother.
San Joaquin County police on Feb. 26 arrested Sidney DeAvila, a convicted…

After a violent parole violator allegedly raped and killed his grandmother shortly after being released from jail, two California lawmakers asked San Joaquin County officials to explain their policies behind such early releases.

Sidney Jerome DeAvila was arrested Feb. 26, charged with killing his 76-year-old grandmother and leaving her body in a backyard wheelbarrow. Law enforcement records show he was on state parole and required to wear a GPS monitor because of 2011 conviction for molesting children.

Those records also show that DeAvila, 39, was arrested and booked into the San Joaquin County jail at least 10 times in the past nine months on charges of parole violations, drug use and public drunkenness and GPS violations. In almost every instance, he was released within 24 hours, due to jail overcrowding.

The Times in February reported similar early releases of other sex offenders jailed on parole violations, including one man convicted last month of attempted manslaughter with great bodily injury for a beating that left his girlfriend in a coma. A county judge said severe overcrowding left him no choice but to release parole violators, rather than set free those convicted of other charges.

Senate Public Safety Chairwoman Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) and Sen. Cathleen Galgiana (D-Stockton) on Monday sent a letter to San Joaquin Sheriff Steve Moore and the county's chief judge, David Warner.

The lawmakers ask whether jail detainees are evaluated for risk before being released from the jail, and how those release decisions are made. In addition, they ask for an explanation of how the $80 million in state jail expansion money awarded the county in 2008 was spent.

paige.stjohn@latimes.com

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