[UPDATED with Denial:] Gabriela Maldonado, Online Cutie, to Remain in Prison for Murderous Romp

UPDATE, AUG. 24, 5:58 P.M.: Turns out Gabriela Maldonado won't be getting out of Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla as advertised in her profile on a companion-seeking website. The state parole board today denied the La Habra murderer's parole request.

She will next be eligible for a parole hearing in 2014, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office, whose Senior Deputy District Attorney Mike Murray appeared before the board to argue against Maldonado's request.
ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 24, 11 A.M.: "Better than the girl next door!" proclaims Gabriela Maldonado's online profile on a companion-seeking website. "I am a fun and loving woman looking for the right man. If you are stable and looking for your princess, please respond."

"Gabby" includes the focus-challenged head shot at right, but you can still make out the 37-year-old's killer smile. Now doubt about it, the straight, 5-foot-5 and 110 lbs. woman with brown hair, hazel eyes and one kid is a cutie.

"I have been down for 18 years and will be getting out next year," continues her profile, "and am hoping to find someone special to spend my life with."

Where Maldonado has been "down" at is Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, where she was sent after participating in a 1991 crime spree that included the murder of a 16-year-old gang rival in La Habra. The site that includes her bio posted in 2009 is Pen Pals from the Pen. And, despite the hopeful sound of Maldonado's message, the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) will argue this afternoon that she should remain in a prison cell.

Via video conference, Senior Deputy District Attorney Mike Murray is scheduled to tell the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations' Board of Parole Hearings meeting at 1:30 p.m. at Chowchilla that "Maldonado's clear lack of rehabilitation, ongoing prison rules violations, and lack of remorse and true insight into her crime" makes her "an unreasonable risk of danger to society and should not be released at this time," reads an OCDA statement.

On Feb. 12, 1991--Lincoln's birthday--Maldonado was 16, pregnant and a gang member when she, her boyfriend Cesar Vasquez, 19, her brother Edward Maldonado, 17, and friends Marcos Damian, 21, and Emilia Ceniseros, 17, set out to steal a car and drive it into rival gang territory in La Habra to retaliate against vandalism from days earlier blamed on the second gang.

Maldonado approached a teenage couple in a parked Volkswagen and asked for the time. As the couple responded, Vasquez popped up with a gun and ordered the couple out of the VW, which the misfits commandeered and drove off in.

On the way to their destination, Maldonado spotted two female pedestrians she disliked due to a previous spat. Those in the VW demanded to know the two females' gang affiliation before Vasquez pointed a gun at them. They fled.

Maldonado and Vasquez fired shots from the VW into the windshield of a rival gang member's unoccupied car and a residence with nine people inside--and where the gang members believed rivals lived.

Minutes later, they drove past two male teens walking down the street, including 16-year-old Leo Huichocez, who Vasquez shot in the face, murdering him. Huichocez was a member of a gang but not the one Maldonado and her pals set out to target that day.

Maldonado was arrested three days later. She was sentenced on Jan. 31, 1992, to 25 years and four months to life in state prison after being prosecuted as an adult and found guilty of one felony count each of second degree murder, second degree robbery, assault with a firearm, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, and shooting at an unoccupied vehicle.

Triggerman Vasquez was never captured. Damian just had his parole denied in June. Ceniseros, who was sent to prison, and Edward Maldonado, who was turned over to the California Youth Authority, are no longer listed as being incarcerated. 

The OCDA statement includes the following to justify denial of Maldonado's parole:

Lack of Remorse and Rehabilitation and Threat to Public Safety
In 2010, almost 20 years after her violent, murderous crime spree, Maldonado has yet to accept her guilt or responsibility for what she did. She maintains, "I was just there." This statement demonstrates a lack of remorse and true insight into her involvement in the crime, which was gang-motivated and lacked any respect for human life.

Since her incarceration, Maldonado has had an exceptionally poor disciplinary history. She has accumulated 11 major rules violations, three of which were violent, including mutual combat requiring the use of force, mutual combat, behavior which could lead to violence, conspiracy to introduce heroin and cocaine for distribution, disobeying direct orders, altering currency, failing to return to a job assignment, possession and use of a controlled substance, and kissing another inmate. Maldonado has also accumulated 42 additional violations, the most recent in December 2010, including but not limited to failing to report on time, failure to report to testing, failure to report to a job, behaving in a manner designed to encourage sexual acts, and other conduct violations.

The inmate continues to display a lack of rehabilitation and proves she cannot remain violence-free or follow rules even while incarcerated, in a structured environment, and with the knowledge that disciplinary action will hinder her ability to be free.

OK, "straight" and "cutie" may have been stretching it a bit.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >