SAN DIEGO — Parole hearings were held Thursday for two high-profile killers from San Diego: School shooter Brenda Spencer and Marine wife Laura Troiani.
Spencer, 60, and Troiani, 61, both appeared remotely with their attorneys before two parole board members.
In 1979, at the age of 16, Spencer opened fire on Cleveland Elementary School from her San Carlos home across the street, using a .22 caliber rifle her father had given her for Christmas.
She famously told a reporter that she did it because, “I don’t like Mondays.”
When Spencer showed up at her hearing Thursday morning, she told the parole board members she was stipulating to a 3-year denial, meaning she won't get another chance at parole until 2025.
San Diego County Deputy District Attorney John Cross attended the hearing and was prepared to oppose Spencer’s release.
“It was obviously a horrific crime. Two individuals were shot and killed, the school principal as well as the school custodian. There was a police officer who was also shot in the neck. He survived. And there were eight children between the ages of 7 and 10 who were shot. It was a heinous and horrific crime,” Cross said after the hearing.
In the other case, parole was granted for Laura Troiani, a mother of two children, who in 1984 convinced five other marines to participate in the murder of her U.S. Marine husband, Carlo Troiani.
Laura Troiani was having an affair with at least one of the other Marines.
She lured her husband to a remote area in Oceanside, telling him she was having car trouble. Once Carlo arrived, he was ambushed, shot twice, run over with a car, and died at the scene. The motive was life insurance money.
Troiani has spent 38 years in prison.
She told the parole board members she was sorry for her actions, that she was the victim of domestic violence, and that because of anger management and ongoing therapy, she was a changed woman.
“I am working to be the best me I can possibly be. I love myself today. And I am able to see others, that there is a light in them. I am able to see that they are human and they, too, matter. This is something I didn't have prior to having Carlo killed,” Troiani testified.
The prosecutor said he was disappointed with the grant of parole.
“We believe she is still a danger, that she should not have been granted.
She says that she's culpable but then turns around and minimizes what she did and deflects the blame. So, that is quite troubling,” said Cross.
Troiani’s daughter spoke at the hearing via remote video. She testified in favor of her mother’s release. Relatives of Carlo Troiana wrote letters opposing her release.
Troiani recently has been diagnosed with colon cancer, according to her attorney.
The governor still have to approve Troiani's release, which could take months.
A spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation emailed CBS 8 the following statement:
"Laura Ann Troiani was found suitable for parole today at her second subsequent (third time before a Board panel) parole hearing. Troiani, 61, was admitted from San Diego County on Nov. 18, 1987, to serve 35 years to life for first-degree murder. Troiani, the wife of US Marine Staff Sergeant Carlo Troiani, was convicted of hiring five other Marines to murder her husband. She was originally sentenced to serve life without the possibility of parole but in 2018, her sentence was commuted to life by Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. Here is a link to what to expect after a parole hearing... The Governor may take no action and allow the decision to stand, or refer the decision to the full Board for review en banc and a vote at one of its monthly Executive Board meetings."
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