UPDATE THURSDAY SEPT. 20: Paul Crowder, the man convicted of the 1991 murder of Crescenta Valley High School senior Berlyn Cosman, has been denied parole for five years. His next parole hearing will be in 2017.
Crowder, 40, is currently being held at Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy. He was sentenced on Nov. 1, 1999 to 15 years to life in state prison and an additional four years for personal use of a firearm. He faced the parole board on Wednesday for the review.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Chrisopoulos is attending the hearing to oppose Crowder’s parole. In 2010, the Board granted Crowder parole. On Nov. 12, 2010, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger invoked his authority to reverse the Board’s decision to grant Crowder parole for various reasons including lack of insight and responsibility of the murder. On March 31, 2011, the Anaheim Police Department sent a letter to the Board in opposition of Crowder’s parole. On Oct. 19, 2011, the Board granted Crowder parole. On Nov. 4, 2011, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. invoked his authority to reverse the Board’s decision to grant parole for the inmate for various reasons including the inmate’s dishonesty about the murder, failure to accept responsibility, and participating in illegal activity in prison, according to a released statement from the OCDA.
On June 1, 1991, Crowder then 19, attended an after prom party at a hotel in Anaheim where a group of CVHS students had booked three suites. He was not a student but came with Berlyn’s boyfriend. He arrived at the party with beer and two firearms. He became intoxicated, began waving a firearm around, pointing it at various people. During the evening he fought with Berlyn. That morning he came back to the hotel room, took out his firearm, waved it around laughing and shot Berlyn as she was sleeping. She died of the gunshot wound.
Chrisopoulos said he opposes Crowder’s probation in part because he has yet taken responsibility for his actions. Berlyn’s sister and mother were scheduled to speak at the probation hearing. Information as to the outcome had not been released as of press time.