[UPDATED with Damian Denial:] Johnnie Earl Moore and Marco Antonio Damian, Convicted OC Killers, Face Parole Boards

UPDATE, JUNE 23, 10:47 A.M.: The parole board is two-for-two . . .

. . . on denials, that is.

Like they did with convicted killer Johnnie Earl Moore, the Board of Parole Hearings, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations denied the parole yesterday of La Habra gang banger Marco Antonio Damian.

The 41-year-old's lack of credibility and spotty record of prison behavior contributed to the board's decision that he remain locked up, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA), whose Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Chrisopoulos appeared before the panel to argue for Damian's continued incarceration.

Currently being held at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison in Blythe for his role in the shooting-murder of a rival gang member in 1991, Damian will next be eligible for a parole hearing in 2018.

Also, I forgot to mention in yesterday's item on Moore's parole denial that he'll next be eligible for a parole hearing in 2014.

UPDATE, JUNE 22, 3:02 P.M.: The parole board's decision on Johnnie Earl Moore is out: parole denied!

Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney Susan Price read a letter to the panel from the daughter of Bulmaro Amaya, who Moore shot and killed, and sister of Mario Amaya, who as a 3-year-old lying next to his father was permanently paralyzed by one of Moore's bullets that night in 1977.

The woman, who was an infant sleeping in another room when Moore murdered her father, wrote that as a result of the killer's actions, she is now financially responsible for her mother and brother. According to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA):

She said that her brother has described that, after he was shot in the neck, he just lay in the bed next to his dead father. She asked the court to imagine being a 3-year-old child, bleeding from the neck, knowing your father was dying next to you and unable to help you. She asked the court to think of her mother, who had to watch her husband and 3-year-old son being rushed into the hospital where she worked as a nurse.

ORIGINAL POST, JUNE 22, 2:29 P.M.: Two senior deputy district attorneys earned their travel pay today, heading to the California Medical Facility in Vacaville and Chuckawalla Valley State Prison in Blythe respectively to argue in favor of keeping a couple sick fucks locked up.

Specifically, Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney Susan Price appears before the Board of Parole Hearings, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations to oppose the release of Johnnie Earl Moore from Vacaville, while Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Chrisopoulos does the same in the wake of Marco Antonio Damian's possible parole.

On the night of May 11, 1977, a burglar pried open the kitchen window of an Anaheim home while the family that lived there slept. When the intruder walked into a bedroom where 25-year-old Bulmaro Amaya and his 3-year-old son Mario Amaya were sleeping, the father awoke to find the burglar holding a wooden jewelry box. As Amaya rose to get out of bed, he was shot in the upper leg and the chest and died. One bullet also hit the neck of Mario, who was paralyzed from the chest down ever since. The burglar then fled, only leaving behind his fingerprints on the jewelry box.

The next morning, Amaya was supposed to drop off Mario and his infant daughter sleeping in another room to his mother-in-law while his wife worked. When Amaya did not show up, the mother-in-law discovered the bloody crime scene.

Moore, though only 19 at the time, was already something of a career criminal at the time of the shooting. The Los Angeles resident was convicted of burglary in December 1975 and robbery in December 1977. While on a one-day pass in May 1979, he escaped from prison. He was detained and released over the following years from possession and being under the influence of controlled substances, and even grand theft auto, before finally being linked through his fingerprints in 1986 to the '77 murder of Amaya. He was sentenced the following year to life in state prison for one felony count of first degree murder and five years for a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a firearm during the commission of a robbery.

Damian was 22 the night of Feb. 12, 1991, when he joined three other gang members armed with a sawed-off shotgun on the mean streets of La Habra, hunting for rival gang-bangers they believed had vandalized one of their cars a week earlier. Around 10:45 p.m., they drove through the enemy gang's neighborhood, where they assaulted two juvenile girls, committed two drive-by shootings and, finally, while Damian was behind the wheel, fired a shotgun blast into the face of 16-year-old Leo Huichochea, who died instantly. It turned out the victim was a member of another rival gang, not the one targeted for retaliation that night.

Damian was among the car's occupants tried and sentenced for the crime--a lot. Sentences he was given in 1991, 1994 and 1996 were all overturned on appeal until a jury on Jan. 25, 2010, convicted him of one felony count of second degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for being vicariously armed with a firearm. He was sentenced on May 7 of that year to 15 years to life in state prison.

Now 41, Damian, like 54-year-old Moore, was scheduled to go before the parole board this morning.

Price will cite Moore's lack of remorse, long criminal history and prison violations--which, in addition to escaping, include possessing stimulants and sedatives, failing to report to a scheduled class, tardiness to an assignment, absence from an assignment, poor work performance, absence from a class assignment, and absence from a job assignment--as reasons to keep him behind bars. There's also the long time it took for him to accept responsibility for killing Amaya and forever crippling his son. Moore first denied shooting anyone, saying he left the home immediately after discovering the victims. Later, he changed his story to claim the shootings were an "unfortunate accident." He did not admit responsibility for the murder until a 2008 parole hearing, where the OCDA claims he still displayed an "overall absence of genuine remorse for the murder." Psychological evaluations have failed to rate Moore as being a good candidate for a safe return to society, says the OCDA, which argues his release would threaten public safety.

Chrisopolous, whose TARGET Unit secured the guilty verdict against Damian in 2010, will follow much the same path is his parole argument. The OCDA claims the defendant demonstrated a lack of remorse while incarcerated in Orange County Jail awaiting his fourth retrial. Damian, too, was cited for several jail violations--including two serious violations for possession of dangerous contraband and for possession of a jailhouse weapon, for which he was placed in isolation for five days--and for lying about having been written up before to a correctional counselor last October. The OCDA notes Damian refused to participate in a 2010 psychological evaluation and has made no effort to utilize the self-help, therapy, vocational or educational programming available as suggested by the parole board at his previous hearing. For those reasons,  Chrisopolous will maintain, Damian will continue to pose a threat to the public if he is released.


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