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4Oct/12Off

Parole Denied For Murderer

Nothing can ever bring a murder victim back from the dead. The only way to deal with the perpetrator of a heinous crime is to keep him locked up for the rest of his life where he can think about the life he took away.

A graying, 53-year-old inmate sat silently in a blue prison uniform Tuesday as he was denied in his latest bid for parole from a life sentence for a murder spree in Orange County 35 years ago in which four people were shot and killed.

English: USA. Reasons for revocation among par...

English: USA. Reasons for revocation among parole violators in State prison, for all States, California, New York, and Texas, 1997 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Brett Matthew Paul Thomas, who was 18 when the crimes were committed, listened without comment as a two-person parole board at the R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility found that he would pose a significant risk to others if released back into society. Thomas will next be eligible for parole in five years.

Lynette Duncan, 53, the daughter and sister of two of Thomas’ victims, held her breath as the announcement was made Tuesday evening. She said she was relieved that one of the killers who wrecked her family three and a half decades ago will remain in prison, but Duncan added she had hoped Thomas would be denied eligibility for a longer period of time.

Duncan had traveled from her home on the East Coast so she could oppose Thomas’ parole application. For his part, Thomas had expressed remorse for the killings during the parole hearing.

Thomas was a high school dropout in 1977 when he hooked up with Mark Titch, another troubled youth from a Stanton apartment complex known by police as “the Zoo.”

Together, they embarked on one of the bloodiest crime sprees in Orange County history. During a nine-day span in January 1977, they teamed up and shot and killed four people, including Aubrey Duncan, 53, and Denise Duncan, 18, Lynette’s father and sister.

While the killers spent the next 35 years in separate prisons serving life terms, Duncan, who was 17 when the murders occurred, said she spent the same time living in fear.

She said she forced herself to overcome that fear so she could go on with her life. She decided she had to confront the killers. On Tuesday, Duncan came face to face with one of those killers – Thomas – for the first time.

She was represented at the hearing by victims-rights attorney Michal Fell.

Orange County Deputy District Attorney Jim Mendelson also appeared at the hearing and argued that Thomas has failed to recognize or accept responsibility for the murders he committed and shows a lack of insight into why he committed the murders.

Duncan said she plans to return to California in 2014 when Titch comes up for parole.

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