Kelly and Shawn Moreau secure thousands of signatures urging Governor Brown to reverse the Board of Parole Hearings. The won!
By Todd Spitzer, Attorney at Law and Marsy's Law Attorney
On September 6, 2012, I represented Shawn and Kelly Moreau to fight the release of their mother's murdered, Michael Garrett, at the Avenal State Prison.
At a hearing a year earlier, Garrett was given a release date by the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH). I was retained by the Moreau's and was able to convince Governor Brown to reverse the earlier decision of the BPH. You can read my letter here: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/17059664/Moreau/Garrett.J-95746.VictimsMoreaus.GovBrown.pdf
At the hearing to consider his release in September, Kelly and Shawn convinced the BPH to deny Debbie's murderer another parole hearing under Marsy's Law for three years, a significant win.
The lesson: the participation of the victims at the BPH is critical. It is also important to have the assistance of legal counsel to ensure that the victims arguments to the BPH meet the legal standards that build the best case of a denial of parole.
Kelly and Shawn's participation became a reality throught he financial assistance of Crime Survivors, Inc. and CEO Patricia Wenskunas: http://www.crimesurvivors.org
If you have any questions about the BPH process or need help making your case before the BPH, please contact www.spitzerlawoffice.com
By Todd Spitzer, Attorney at Law and Crime Victims Advocate:
In 1995, Debbie Moreau was beaten and then strangled to death by her live-in boyfriend Michael Garrett. After the murder, Garrett wrapped the body in a sheet and secreted Debbie in a second room in the apartment while he proceeded to do drugs for the next eight days. His over-dosed body was found by the landlady and Garrett was taken to the hospital where he, of course, recovered. Upon a search of the residence, the landlady found Debbie's lifeless body.
Garrett was sentenced to Life with the possibility of parole. In 2008 his parole was denied for three years. In 2011, Shawn and Kelly Moreau testified against the release of Garrett. The Board of Parole Hearings gave Garrett a parole grant despite the objections. During the hearing, Shawn was so upset by the ruling that he was removed from the hearing room. Kelly was also removed. But they fought back:
When Kelly and Shawn began their crusade to try to convince Governor Brown to reverse his decision, Kelly found me through Facebook. I began representing them. My role was to review the 2008 and 2011 transcripts and determine the most compelling factual and legal arguments that we could make in order to convince Governor Brown to keep Garrett behind bars for as long as possible.
On Thursday, March 1, Governor Brown announced that he had reversed Garrett's parole Grant: