What Has Brown Done for Paul Crowder Lately? Gov. Again Denies Parole for Murderer of High School Basketball Star on Her Prom Night

For the second time in four months, Governor Jerry Brown has determined that Paul Crowder should not be set free from the California prison holding the convicted killer of Berlyn Cosman, a Crescenta Valley High School basketball star who was shot to death in an Anaheim hotel room on her prom night in 1991.

In a four-page letter that once again reverses the state parole board, Brown wrote that Crowder remains a danger to the community because he has not accepted responsibility for the slaying.

On June 1, 1991, Cosman was sleeping in her room at the Sterling Crown Suites Hotel in Anaheim after her prom when drunk, laughing and then-19-year-old Crowder walked in, waved a gun around, shot her and fled. He was sentenced in November 1991 to 15 years to life in state prison for the second-degree murder of Cosman and four additional years for personal use of a firearm.

The state parole board voted in 2010 that Crowder should be paroled, but then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger invoked his authority to reverse that decision, citing Crowder's lack of insight into and responsibility for the murder.

That set up another parole hearing at Deuel Vocational Institution, the Tracy prison holding Crowder. Over the objections of Cosman's sister, the Anaheim Police Department and the Orange County District Attorney's office, the parole board voted for Crowder's parole last October. Prosecutors vowed to take their fight to new Governor Brown.
A month later, Brown reversed the parole board's initial 2010 parole in a separate four-page
letter that found Crowder "does not genuinely understand or accept responsibility for his actions . . . (and) currently poses a danger to society if released."

Brown's second letter reverses the November 2011 parole board action.

Previous coverage:

Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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 >