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Parole Denied In Teen Murder Case

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Sonora, CA — A Tuolumne County man who was 17 when he killed his ex-girlfriend over three decades ago was again denied parole.

51-year-old Cheyenne Knox murdered the victim, Yvette Stagno, when she was 19-years-old. They got into an argument after she did not want to romantically get back into a relationship with him.

The District Attorney’s Office reports that he shoved her to the ground and shot her twice at close range with a .28 gauge shotgun.

The murder occurred on Green Springs Road, and Knox then drove her car over to her parent’s home in Sonora and snuck inside to remove a blanket off her bed, along with a garage door opener, to make it appear as though she voluntarily left to go somewhere. He then drove to the Delta Mendota Canal in Alameda County where he dumped her body.

Her car was then driven back to Sonora where it was abandoned at the former Sonora Community Hospital parking lot.

He then started contacting her family to ask about her, and offering fake theories about where she may have gone.

The murder had occurred on July 17, and nine days later, Knox flew to Pennsylvania to stay with his father. Four days after that, Stagno’s car was located at the hospital, and her blood was located on the rear bumper and down the rear tire well.

The following month her body was located, and a few weeks later, investigators positively identified it as being her.

Sheriff’s Office investigators flew to Pennsylvania on August 16, and Knox later admitted to killing Stagno. Early on he claimed that his dog instructed him on how to carry out the crime, but he later admitted that his story was a lie. When he was determined to be sane, he was charged as an adult and pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.

A parole hearing recently came up, and Deputy District Attorney Cassandra Jenecke argued that Knox still poses an unreasonable risk of danger to the community and is a threat to public safety based on his criminal mindset, incarceration disciplinary history, and psychiatric reports that rated him at a moderate risk of violence reoffending.

The state denied parole for Knox, but the issue could be reviewed again in about 18 months.