District Attorney urges Governor Newsom to appeal cop killer’s parole decision –
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A man convicted of fatally shooting a San Diego police officer in 1978 could be released from prison in the near future after a judge granted his motion challenging the cancellation of his parole by Governor Gavin Newsom.
Jesus Cecena has been found guilty of murdering Officer Archie Buggs, 30, who was shot four times after stopping a car Cecena was driving in the Skyline neighborhood.
Cecena, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, was initially sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, but the sentence was reduced to seven years to life in 1982 because he was a minor at the time. of filming.
Cecena, now 61, has been granted parole five times since 2014, but each time the governor of California reversed the parole grant, with Newsom recently reversing the parole board’s decision in 2020.
Criminal defense attorney Jan Ronis joined KUSI’s Ginger Jeffries on “Good Evening San Diego” to discuss the details of this case.
In the 2020 decision, Newsom cited Cecena’s gang motivations as a major factor in his decision, writing “Mr. Cecena still refuses to acknowledge the underlying or causal factors that are in evidence, particularly that he belonged to a gang where killing a peace officer was seen as an end goal, than a more experienced and respected gang member handed him a gun so he could kill Officer Buggs, and that killing Officer Buggs was a way for Mr. Cecena to gain more respect and power within his gang. Mr. Cecena has more work to do in this area before he can be released safely.
Last month, San Diego Superior Court Judge David Gill granted a motion filed by Cecena that challenged the governor’s order. With the court victory, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, which opposes Cecena’s release, said he could be freed within the next month if the decision is not appealed.
“Cecena refused to acknowledge both his true motivation for this horrific murder and the increased status he sought in his gang by committing this crime,” District Attorney Summer Stephan said in a statement released Tuesday. “The Superior Court’s decision did not give weight to these important factors and therefore reached an erroneous conclusion. I urge Governor Newsom to allow the Attorney General to appeal the court’s decision based on the serious concerns about Cecena’s fitness that the Governor relied on to overturn the grant of parole in his letter of October 2020. »
The DA’s office alleges that while incarcerated, Cecena displayed an “unstable social history”, in which he received “more than 10 offense reports for misbehavior in prison”.
Stephan added: “Without accepting full responsibility for the true nature of this crime, it continues to present a clear and unacceptable danger to our community. It is important to dwell on the seriousness of this case which fortunately remains a rare case where a policeman on duty, in uniform and with a marked patrol car is shot and executed while he is on the ground.
“The cold-blooded murder of San Diego police officer Archie Buggs has devastated his family, his department and our community. The very nature of the crime was not only ruthless, but inexplicably senseless, and it demonstrated a complete disregard for human life and a disregard for those in positions of authority.