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Sonora Murderer Again Denied Parole

Sonora, CA — A convicted killer who brutally beat a woman to death at her Pine Mountain Lake vacation home has again been found unsuitable for parole.

According to Tuolumne County District Attorney Laura Krieg, the victim’s daughter, accompanied by Deputy District Attorney Cassandra Ann Jenecke, attended a state parole board hearing recently held for Steven Karpan, formerly of Sonora, at Correctional Training Facility State Prison in Soledad. Karpan has been serving a 15 years-to-life sentence for second degree murder and has twice been denied parole; initially, in 2005 and again, in 2010.

Back in 1994, Karpan pled guilty to the killing of Modesto resident Dorothy Ostrom, who was attacked while at her Pine Mountain Lake vacation home. The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department made the grisly discovery of her horribly beaten body, which had been stuffed head-first into a utility room freezer; Karpan had subsequently closed the lid and weighed it down with a toilet tank. He later drove the victim’s car and attempted to use her credit cards after pawning a video camera that he had stolen from the residence. His fingerprints were retrieved from the murder weapon, toilet tank and utility room door, according to District Attorney Krieg. She notes that Karpan continues to claim that he does not remember the killing.

Jenecke argued for Karpan’s continued confinement, basing her recommendation on his continued criminal violations while under incarceration, a lack of sufficient insight about his crime, and weak post-parole plans. The Board of Prison Hearings agreed, also basing its decision on the gruesome and heinous nature of the murder, along with his history of domestic violence and battery, severe substance abuse issues and lack of impulse control. A f0rensic psychologist additionally provided an assessment stating that Karpan still poses a moderate risk for violent recidivism. The panel anticipates that its decision will finalize after a 120-day review period unless it is referred for an en-banc review by the governor.