Perhaps the news is not that parole was denied this morning for Ernest Arthur Peralta, who is locked up at California State Prison in Corcoran for a 1982 Santa Ana murder.
Perhaps the news is that the 51-year-old who beat a guy to a pulp while on parole then took a rifle and fired 13 times into the nearly unconscious man's head, chest and hands--at later got two years added to his prison sentence for possessing a weapon while inside--thought he'd be deemed fit to return to society.
Peralta was a 21-year-old gang banger on Feb. 7, 1982, when he, another man and two women approached Reyes Rosales Torres, who was leaving a Santa Ana bar with some friends.
The women asked Torres to buy them food from a nearby taco truck, which somehow led to Peralta's male friend getting into an argument with Torres, Torres saying something that set off Peralta, and Peralta fighting first with Torres and then a friend of Torres' who tried to break them up.
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Torres followed Peralta to his neighborhood, where fight continued and Torres was beaten nearly unconscious. Peralta's brother ran into their home and retrieved a rifle, which Peralta struggled to take away from his bro before pumping lead into the beaten, bloody and helpless Torres on the ground. Peralta then fled the scene.
When Santa Ana police arrived, Torres' pants pockets had been turned inside out to make it appear he had been robbed. The deception did not prevent Peralta's Feb. 19, 1982, arrest; conviction by a jury of one felony count of first degree murder and one felony count of robbery with sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a deadly weapon; and Feb. 29, 1984, sentence of 28 years to life in state prison.
Fast forward to this morning, when Orange County Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche opposed Peralta's parole due to the inmate's 11 Orange County Jail violations while awaiting trial and 30 prison rules violations, including this doozy: a 1986 possession of a weapon by a prisoner conviction that resulted in two more years being added to his prison sentence. Peralta was also alleged to have exhibited a lack of rehabilitation, having been a criminal street gang member since the age of 13 and continuing to be associated with the Mexican Mafia while incarcerated.
The parole board obviously agreed. Peralta gets to state his case for release again in 2016.