Cop killer granted parole - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Cop killer granted parole

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The State Board of Parole has granted parole to Jesus Cecena, left, who killed San Diego Police Officer Archie Buggs (right) in 1978. The State Board of Parole has granted parole to Jesus Cecena, left, who killed San Diego Police Officer Archie Buggs (right) in 1978.

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - On Friday, the man convicted of killing San Diego Police Officer Archie Buggs was granted parole. 

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said that in spite of her office's vigorous and compelling arguments against it, the State Board of Parole has granted parole to Jesus Cecena, 54, who killed Officer Buggs in 1978. 

Dumanis urged the parole board to deny Cecena's release, and even attended the prison hearing in person.

Officer Archie Buggs, 30, was shot four times after he stopped a car driven by Cecena, a gang member in the Skyline neighborhood who was 17-years old at the time. Cecena fired five times at Buggs, then paused, walked toward the fallen officer and fired a final bullet into his head at point blank range.

The officer died on the street, his hand still on his service revolver.

The parole board hearing was held Friday at Valley State Prison near Fresno, California and lasted more than two hours. 

The board announced its decision after deliberating for about 30 minutes. 

It was Cecena's 15th parole hearing, which included a discussion of his criminal record, psychiatric factors, parole plans, and statements by representatives of the victim's family.

"Cesena brutally took the life of a public servant and significantly affected the lives of Officer Buggs' family, friends, co-workers," said Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman. "Justice demands that he be made to spend every day of his life in prison."

Cecena was convicted of murder and was sentenced to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole on August 22, 1979. Because Cecena was 17 at the time he killed Officer Buggs, his sentence was reduced to a 7 year-to-life term on March 31, 1982. 

A change in the law made Cecena eligible for Youth Offender Parole last year. In April 2014, his release was approved by the parole board, but Gov. Jerry Brown overturned the panel's recommendation five months later.

Cecena was denied parole 13 times. 

Cecena's unstable social history continued during his incarceration; he received more than ten violation reports for misconduct while in prison.

Cecena was recommended for parole in 2014 but Brown reversed that decision.

The board's recent decision is subject to a four-month review and after that, Gov. Jerry Brown has another 30 days to reverse the board's decision

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