CA Double Murderer Gets Early Release

Fox LA has this story on Howard Elwin Jones, a gang member who murdered two teenagers at a party during Christmas in 1988. One of the boys, Chris Baker, was only 17 years old, and was shot by Jones on the assumption that the red Santa hat he was wearing indicated his membership in a rival gang. Jones was sentenced to 45 years to life in prison. SB 260 was signed into law in 2013 by Gov. Jerry Brown, made Jones eligible for parole.  He had been denied twice until Jones had his third parole hearing in February by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s parole board and was found eligible for release.  The parole hearing excluded prosecutors per District Attorney George Gascon’s directive that their involvement in cases ends at sentencing. This murderer’s early release also included  Gov. Gavin Newsom’s review and approval. Jones is set to walk out from San Quentin on Monday. 

The victim’s families are suffering from this news and have expressed their opposition to the decision. The sister of Chris Baker said, “How do you put a price on human life? Let alone two human lives! This guy can go free after killing two people and have a life and he still gets to talk to his family?”  This will likely become more common as Gov. Gavin Newsom and LADA George Gascón continue their policies of emptying out California’s prisons and jails.