The California legislature has passed a bill that would allow convicted killer Wesley Shermantine to briefly leave death row.
AB 2357 was approved in the Senate and Assembly on Thursday, and would grant Corrections Secretary Matthew Cate the ability to remove Shermantine from prison to help investigators locate missing bodies. State lawmakers pushing the bill argue that Shermantine and co-conspirator Loren Herzog could be connected to as many as 72 cold cases throughout Northern California. Herzog committed suicide in January when he learned that Shermantine was talking to authorities about the remains of victims.
Bone fragments were recently found in both Calaveras and San Joaquin Counties. The bill only allows Shermantine to leave when he is helping to find remains and evidence, and would expire on January 1st. It is unknown if Governor Jerry Brown will sign the legislation. The methamphetamine fueled killings happened in the 1980’s and 90’s.