California Governor Jerry Brown made the decision on Friday, June 26th to block parole for the man who brutally murdered a developmentally disabled man.
In spite of the recommendations issued by a state panel that parole should be granted for the 52-year-old David Weidert, Brown believes that he is still too dangerous to become a free man.
David Weildert has been incarcerated in Correctional Training Facility in Soledad for 35 years, after being sentenced to death.
When he was 17 years old, back in 1980, he killed Michael Morganti, who was 20 years old, for fear he would tell on him for stealing $ 500 from a doctor’s office.
Along with an accomplice, who was 16 years old at the time, he lured the young man from his apartment and took him to a secluded area. Morganti was forced by the two teenagers to dig his own grave and then he was beaten with a bat and a shovel.
He was also stabbed and choked with a wire but he was still alive when he was thrown in the hole he had dug. He died suffocated, after suffering mental and physical torture for 45 minutes.
Both the authorities and Morganti’s family described it as a heinous crime and Weildert was punished with life imprisonment. The sheriff in charge of investigation at the time said that the crime was the most brutal she had ever seen.
However, in 1984, his sentenced was reversed and he was given the chance of filing for parole after 25 years. In January 2015, the parole board decided that he is no longer a threat to the society and can be released. The final decision was left in the hands of Governor Brown.
The Governor said that the thing that most strikes him is the fact that David Weildert is still convinced that the crime was not premeditated:
“Mr. Weidert’s continued insistence that killing Mr. Morganti was an unplanned and impulsive act minimizes his culpability and shows that he has not yet acknowledged the true horrific nature of his crime,” Brown wrote in his decision.
Vikki van Duyne, Morganti’s sister, said that she could not be happier of the decision to block parole for Weildert, as she strongly believes that the world is a safer place without him released from prison.
Her family had asked Brown to refrain from granting parole to the murderer, because he was still a threat to society, given the brutality he displayed in killing their young relative.
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