*This news release is from the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office*
On December 27, 2008, Clovis Police Department officers were investigating a mail theft when they observed the suspect driving a Chevy Camaro. The suspect failed to pull over during a vehicle stop and led officers on a high‐speed chase through residential neighborhoods where he reached speeds of 65‐70 MPH. A Clovis PD Officer stopped his patrol vehicle to prevent the suspect from driving off after the suspect lost control of his vehicle and stopped in a driveway. The suspect then intentionally rammed the driver’s side of the Officer’s patrol vehicle and tried to flee on foot. The suspect was caught trying to scale a fence into a residential backyard and fought with police before being handcuffed. A search of the suspect’s vehicle and home found several items of stolen mail, identify theft materials, computers and stolen checks.
WILLIAM MURPHY, JR. was later convicted in 2009 of Assault on a Peace Officer, Driving the Wrong Way while Evading a Peace Officer, Resisting an Executive Officer and other felony offenses. The defendant had ten (10) prior Robbery convictions in Los Angeles and Fresno and had served four previous prison terms. In spite of these being his 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th felony convictions, and his having ten prior violent felony convictions or “Strikes”, Judge Ralph Nunez struck nine of the 10 “Strike” priors and gave the defendant 17 years and 4 months in prison pursuant to a judicial plea bargain instead of 37 years to Life as recommended by the Probation Department.
In the decision to release dated November 13, 2017, BPH Deputy Commissioner Andres made the following statements:
1) Mr. Murphy was on parole;
2) He “used his motor vehicle as a weapon”;
3) “These crimes were violent”;
4) There was evidence of “large‐scale criminal activity” by Mr. Murphy;
5) His many prior Robbery convictions “demonstrate a pattern of similar, repetitive
To date, BPH has granted release to 18 prison inmates from Fresno County pursuant to Prop. 57. Many more releases are expected. In addition, inmates denied release under Prop. 57 will still be eligible for release annually.
Under the terms of regulations adopted by the California Dept. of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR), only the inmate has the right to appeal an early release decision. The District Attorney’s Office cannot appeal. BPH will only notify crime victims of possible release if they have registered with the CDCR Office of Victim & Survivor Rights & Services.
District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp joined other elected District Attorneys and law enforcement officials around the state in strongly campaigning against Prop. 57. The voters of Fresno County voted against the “Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016”, but it passed statewide.