TEMECULA (CNS) – A Riverside County lawmaker is calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to overrule a State Parole Board decision to free a man who killed six people in a high-speed wreck triggered when he plowed through a stoplight at a Temecula intersection while fleeing U.S. Border Patrol agents trying to stop him near a high school campus almost three decades ago.
Sen. Jeff Stone, R-La Quinta, wrote a letter urging Newsom to “consider the victims and use your constitutionally granted powers to overturn” the State Parole Board’s decision to release 43-year-old Jesus Sandoval Macias, a Mexican national who has served 25 years in state prison.
“Since his conviction, Mr. Macias has been denied parole several times, including a decision as recent as April 3, 2018, when it was denied for three years” Stone wrote in the letter sent to the governor last week. “From statements I’ve read and conversations I’ve had with law enforcement officials, Mr. Macias has done little to rehabilitate himself and has been judged to still pose a moderate risk to the community.”
Newsom’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Stone’s request.
According to published reports, Macias was at the wheel of a Chevrolet Suburban carrying a dozen undocumented immigrants when Border Patrol agents attempted to stop them as the vehicle drove into Temecula, then a small city of roughly 30,000, about 7:30 a.m. on June 2, 1992.
Macias floored the SUV, heading in the direction of Temecula Valley High School at Margarita and Rancho Vista roads. He sped into a school crossing zone and went through a red light, slamming into a 1988 Acura driven by area banker John Davis, who was taking his son, 18-year-old Todd Davis, and his friend, 14-year-old Monisa Emilio, to the campus.
The Acura was split in two and hurled more than 100 feet, all three occupants killed on impact.
“The Suburban then flipped over and skidded down the sidewalk, landing on and killing siblings Gloria Murillo, 17, and Jose Murillo, 16,” Stone said. “Classes had already started at Temecula Valley High that morning.
If Macias had arrived at the intersection 10 minutes earlier, it would have been filled with hundreds of students and likely resulted in many more deaths and injuries.”
All of Macias’ passengers were injured. One died five days later in the hospital.
Stone told Newsom he vividly recalled the deadly crash because he had just been elected to the Temecula City Council and attended community meetings held in the wake of the killings to provide residents an opportunity to “vent their anger and frustration.”
According to the senator, Macias never showed remorse during his fall 1993 trial that resulted in six convictions for second-degree murder and a sentence of 15 years to life in prison.
“Six people killed. Six families ruined,” Stone said.
Macias first came up for parole in December 2001. Until September 2014, he was denied release. However, the board at that time tentatively granted parole, then reversed its decision after receiving information that the defendant had been involved in a brawl at Avenal State Prison.
He was denied parole for three years in April 2018, but for reasons unclear, an administrative review of his case resulted in that time being halved, and on Oct. 8 of this year, the board voted in favor of parole.