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‘Outnumbered’ panel discusses the rise in violent crime in liberal cities after LA District Attorney George Gascon scraps parole notifications
Twice-convicted murderer Walter Joseph Lewis was set to be released on parole under the California Elderly Parole Law, according to local news.
Lewis, now 76, first stabbed a man to death in 1965, when he was 18 years old and was sentenced to 13 years in prison for the crime. He later killed Robert Chartier in 1979 by beating him to death with a hammer, according to FOX 11 Los Angeles.
The Chartier family has been petitioning the California Board of Parole Hearings to reconsider Lewis’ release since 2017.
“On March 14th, 1979 within 6 months of release he killed Robert Chartier (my uncle) by repeatedly hitting him over the head with a hammer because he was jealous of my aunt who he’d know in high school. My uncle died 6 days later,” Chartier’s nephew, Jason Brock, wrote in a 2017 letter posted to Change.org.
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The Chartier family has been petitioning the California Parole Hearing Board to reconsider Lewis’ release since 2017. (Change.org)
“For the murder of my uncle Lewis was only given 15 years to life. This was without a doubt a gross injustice by the judicial system! If released he would most certainly kill again.”
Under the state elderly parole law, any convicted criminal over 50 years old who has spent 20 years in prison is eligible for release, FOX 11 reported.
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One of Chartier’s relatives named Karla told FOX 11 her family is in “shock.”
“We’re just in shock that it’s even happening. I can’t believe that somebody would approve of this man being released,” she told the outlet. “They were violent murders, they weren’t self-defense.”
Walter Joseph Lewis was sent to prison for killing Robert Chartier in 1979. (Getty)
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Hundreds of inmates have been granted parole under the law, which the California legislature enacted in 2018, according to FOX 11. The outlet cited California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation records when it reported 317 inmates were granted parole in 2020, 360 were granted parole in 2021 and 493 were granted parole in 2022.
Fox News Digital has reached out to the California Board of Parole Hearings and the District Attorney’s office.
Audrey Conklin is a digital reporter for Fox News Digital and FOX Business. Email tips to [email protected] or on Twitter at @audpants.