(UnitedVoice.com) – California’s youth offender law allows those who committed crimes when they were young to go before a parole board to possibly be released early. The state has expanded that law to anyone who was under the age of 26 when they offended. That has allowed a stone-cold killer to receive early parole.
On September 6, California’s parole board granted parole to Derek Eugene Pettis. That’s 11 years earlier than he was originally supposed to be eligible. Pettis is serving a life sentence in prison for the murder of 39-year-old Chaplain Bruce Bryan, who volunteered with the Carson Sheriff Station in Los Angeles County. Pettis was 24 at the time.
One night in 1994, Bryan was on patrol with 31-year-old Deputy Terrence Wenger. They stopped at a bar where there was a fight and detained Pettis. Instead of bringing him to jail, the deputy took the suspect home to sober up. Rather than thanking the law enforcement officer when he was released from the handcuffs, Pettis hit Wenger in the head, grabbed his gun, and shot him in the head, hitting him in the eye.
After he shot the deputy, Pettis turned to the chaplain, who was running for his life. Pettis shot Bryan in the back. When he fell to his knees, the killer stood above him and fired straight down, bypassing the chaplain’s bulletproof vest, and leaving him dead.
Floyd Bryan, the chaplain’s brother, told Fox News Digital that he had a problem with the revisions to the youth offender law because it was “a violent crime,” and if someone is “going to kill law enforcement, [they’re] going to kill anybody.”
Deputy Wenger lost his eye in the shooting but went on to serve the sheriff’s department until he retired. He provided a statement to the parole board telling them that the shooting was “extremely vicious, sadistic, and cruel.” He warned the board that there wasn’t a guarantee that Pettis wouldn’t kill again.
California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) will now decide whether to take the board’s recommendation and set him free.
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