By Mary O’KEEFE
Citing safety concerns, Gov. Jerry Brown issued a decision this week to reverse convicted murderer Paul Crowder’s June 2010 grant of parole.
Crowder was convicted of second-degree murder for the shooting death of Crescenta Valley High School senior Berlyn Cosman (shown at right) in 1991. In 2010, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations’ Board of Parole Hearings voted in favor of parole. The decision was reversed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Superior Court then overturned Schwarzenegger’s reversal, then reinstated the June 2010 grant. Gov. Brown reviewed that grant and issued a reversal on Nov. 4.
In a hearing conducted on Oct. 19, 2011 Crowder was again found suitable for parole. Gov. Brown has 150 days from that date to make a decision.
Cosman was with CVHS friends who rented a hotel room in Anaheim for an after prom party. Crowder, who was not in high school at the time, had been drinking and brought a gun to the hotel, according to testimony. According to transcripts, Crowder had been waving the gun throughout the night. He entered the room and shot Cosman while she slept.
Crowder contends that it was an accident, that he was drunk, tripped and the gun accidently went off.
In the decision, Gov. Brown acknowledged the Crowder has “made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated.”
Crowder has earned a General Equivalency Diploma and held a number of prison jobs. He has also participated in 12-step substance abuse programs and has attended 20 hours of anger management classes.
“I commend Mr. Crowder for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole. …The murder was horrific and utterly senseless,” Brown stated.
Brown cited that Crowder had not accepted responsibility for the murder was a factor in his decision. He concluded that Crowder does pose a danger to society and reversed the decision of parole.