On The Record

 The Monthly Newsletter from San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis

February 2010
Bonnie smiling
Parole Board Denies Release of Convicted Murderer
Betty Broderick

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced  that parole has been denied for Betty Broderick, 62.  Broderick who was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder in the 1989 killing of her former husband Dan Broderick and his wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick.  The case spurred national media coverage, several documentaries, books and a made-for-television movie.
 Prison Bars
"I'm proud of Deputy DA Richard Sachs work to keep this inmate behind bars where she belongs," said DA Dumanis.  "Our office handles hundreds of parole hearings each year, doing our best to make sure dangerous criminals are not released and crime victims are given a voice."
As a result of DDA Sach's excellent work on this hearing, Betty Broderick will not be eligible for parole again for 15 years.  This was Brodericks first parole hearing.  She is currently serving a sentence of 32 years-to-life.
Faith-based Leaders Dialogue with the DA
Faith-based leaders met with the District Attorney in January to discuss several issues of importance to their communities, including early prisoner release.
The  DA's Inter-faith Advisory Board was formed six years ago as a way of maintaining an open dialogue among the various San Diego faith-based communities. Each month, leaders from a variety of religious organizations meet at the District Attorney's Office where they voice community concerns.  
The Board is currently recruiting experienced faith leaders to be a part of this meaningful dialogue. Anyone interested in joining can contact Suzanne Patterson at (619) 531-3532 or suzanne.patterson@sdcda.org.

Inter-Faith Advisory Board

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis attends January's Inter-Faith Advisory Board meeting, where she gave a special presentation on early prisoner release and invited the Board to share their opinions.

Teen Sentenced for Murdering Her Mother
Heather D'Aoust, 16, of Scripps Ranch, was sentenced to 16 years-to-life in state prison for the May 2008 murder of her adoptive mother, Rebecca D'Aoust.D'Aoust
"From the start, this was a tragic case for the family," said Deputy DA Rick Clabby.  "Now, at least the defendant will get the ongoing mental health treatment she needs."
The defendant, who has a history of mental illness, was 14-years old when she attacked her mother with a claw hammer, killing her.  The teenager pleaded guilty to the crime in December of 2009.
Early Prisoner Release Puts Focus on DA's Reentry Program
A new law aimed at reducing California's prison population took effect on in January, resulting in the early release of about 260 non-violent local inmates.    The law forced local officials to recalculate the sentences of defendants currently serving time in local custody by providing additional good conduct credits to non-violent, non-serious, non-sex offenders.    Offenders who qualify for the new accelerated credits only serve half of the sentence imposed by the court.
Gary Brown  
This new law has also refocused the spotlight on the rising rate of recidivism.  Currently, 70% of California inmates return to custody within three years of release.  As the accelerated credits move inmates through the system faster, reduced programming due to budget cuts increases the probability of a return to custody for new crimes.  Here in San Diego, the District Attorney's Office has spearheaded a revolutionary reentry program designed to stem the tide of recidivism. 
The SB 618 San Diego Community Reentry Program begins at the time a defendant agrees to go to prison and continues until eighteen months after release from prison.  Participants must serve their prison sentence, but are compelled to enroll in appropriate substance abuse, vocational and educational programming while in prison and when released back into the community.   The program currently has over 600 participants.  Recently, 23 former inmates successfully graduated from SB 618.  To date, the recidivism rate of the active participants is less than 20%. 
Prison overcrowding
By directing the transition from prison to community and carefully supervising the re-entry and programming of the participants, SB 618 is attacking the heart of the recidivism issue without compromising public safety.
 "The program is quickly expanding and we are well on our way to reducing the high rate of recidivism," said District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.  "This effort is just one of the effective and responsible ways we can address the problem of prison overcrowding in the state of California."  Together with other county law enforcement agencies, community providers and a Reentry Roundtable, the District Attorney's Office is continuing to pursue other local innovative programs to ensure defendants are still held accountable for their actions, but the underlying causes of the criminal activity are addressed and treated.
Youth Campaign Gears Up in San Diego County Schools
Members of the DA's Youth Advisory Board are taking their message to classrooms around the county.  The campaign centers on the concept of "4 or 40: The Choice Is Yours".
With the help from the DA's Office, the teens came up with the concept for the campaign and short film-- that four years of high school will affect the next 40 years of your life.
After their film premiered, the students took their message on a countywide tour presenting it to schools and organizations like the Palavra Tree, Youth Voice Youth Build, O'Farrell Middle School and the Polinsky School.
"The Board is a great opportunity for kids my age to voice their opinions and be heard - it's been like a second family to me," said Board Member Thelma Mubaiwa. 
The DA's Youth Advisory Board was formed in 2008, Youth Advisory Board with the aim of spreading awareness about the needs and challenges of today's teens as well as implementing positive change within their community. 
For more information on the DA's Youth Advisory Board or to watch the "4 or 40" film click here.
Citizens of Courage Awards...Save the Date!
Citizens of Courage Awards
The DA's Citizens of Courage Awards will be held April 16 at noon at the Westin Gaslamp Hotel.  Please save the date now and look for detailed information in next month's E-Newsletter.  You won't want to miss this popular and inspiring annual event! 
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Check out the brand new link on the District Attorney's website!

SHANNON SHIMP, 36, was sentenced to serve 16 years in prison for causing a crash near Ramona that killed two men and injured another woman. The defendant was drunk and under the influence of methamphetamine at the time.


BRIAN LEFLER, 30, was sentenced to 17 years in state prison for punching a  hotel desk clerk during a robbery in Vista. The victim died a day later as a result of her injuries.


DAVID JESUS BARRON, 27, was sentenced to 77 years-to-life in state prison for gunning down an artist in North Park. The defendant was convicted on December 14 of first-degree murder.

ANTOINE BELCHER, 33, was sentenced to 21 years in prison for fatally shooting his cousin's husband in the back. The defendant was called to scene by his cousin to suppress an argument.

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The Employees of the San Diego District Attorney, in partnership with the Community we serve, are dedicated to the pursuit of truth, justice and protection of the innocent, and the prevention of crime through the vigorous and professional prosecution of those who violate the law.