Sonora, CA — Against the Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office “vehement opposition,” the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) has granted parole to inmate Richard Harris Carey.
Carey will be paroled to Los Angeles County, after serving 21 years for having committed aggravated mayhem against Daniel Titchenal of Tuolumne County, on November 18, 1994. The DA reports that Carey was advised not to return to Tuolumne County without authorization from his parole officer.
Titchenal was found by a neighbor the day after being severely beaten in the face and head with a claw hammer. Carey, then 37, was living in the victim’s home at the time of the incident. Carey turned himself into authorities, confessed, and pled guilty in May 1995.
It was later discovered that Carey was high on methamphetamines and marijuana when he hit Titchenal at least seven times while he was asleep. Carey stole money, car keys and a gun, then dumped the claw hammer in a creek. Driving to Stockton, he returned, hours later. When he found his victim still breathing, he kicked him and ripped the phone cord from the wall so Titchenal couldn’t call for help. Carey was sentenced by Tuolumne County Superior Court Judge DuTemple to seven-years-to-life.
The DA argues “the heinous nature of the life offense, his history of violence while in and out of prison, his unstable social history, his admission to a “struggle with honesty” about the life crime, and his sustained lack of insight and remorse for his actions showed that Inmate Carey continues to present a substantial risk of danger to the public, should he be released.”
Commissioner Montes and Deputy Commissioner Gardner presided over the parole hearing yesterday, which Titchenal’s brother and daughter attended. The Tuolumne County DA described the daughter’s statement as “impactful and powerful…which she tearfully gave, in-person, to the Board.”
The Board deliberated for 50 minutes but chose to give Carey a grant of parole, citing his age (58 years old), minimal serious rule violations while incarcerated, extensive institutional programming, and viable parole plans. The Board’s opinion was that Inmate Carey had a reduced risk of violent recidivism and did not pose a substantial threat of danger to the public. It also incorporated a Comprehensive Risk Assessment written by Dr. Jatinder Singh, who opined that Carey represented a low risk for violence and presented a non-elevated risk, relative to life-term inmates and other parolees.
The DA notes the case will go before Governor Brown, who will then have 120 days to reverse the decision.