Newsom Allows Release Of Convicted Murderer Who Buried Developmentally Disabled Man Alive

 California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom has decided not to block the release of a convicted murderer who had received a life sentence for a killing that took place more than 40 years ago.

The Associated Press reported, “Gov. Gavin Newsom has allowed the release of a killer who served four decades in prison for the murder of a developmentally disabled California man who was buried alive, officials said Monday.” According to the outlet, “Newsom took no action last Friday on the state parole board’s latest decision granting parole to David Weidert, his office said Monday, meaning that Weidert, 58, is now eligible for release.”

Weidert, an inmate at Soledad State Prison, was convicted of murdering 20-year-old Fresno-area resident Michael Morganti in 1980 to cover up a burglary. He was 17-year-old at the time. Former Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown twice denied his parole, and Newsom had previously blocked his release in 2020, saying last year that Weidert “currently poses an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison at this time.”

However, as The Fresno Bee reported, “Newsom this year accepted the finding of the Board of Parole Hearings, ‘which determined that he does not pose a current unreasonable risk to public safety,’ his office said Monday without elaborating.”

Vikki Van Duyne, Morganti’s sister, said she had attended 11 parole hearings since the killing to oppose Weidert’s release and was troubled by Newsom’s decision.

“I didn’t think the governor would think that things had changed in 13 months from the time when he said no last time, because I didn’t see anything change,” she told the AP.

More details from The Bee:

Weidert used Morganti to serve as a lookout to commit a $500 burglary, according to prosecutors.

Morganti later spoke with law enforcement, and Weidert silenced him by luring him into a car and taking him to an isolated location to kill him. Morganti was beaten with a baseball bat and a shovel, stabbed with a knife, and forced to dig his own grave before being buried alive, prosecutors have said.

After Morganti was buried, he eventually suffocated.

Weidert’s attorney, Charles Carbone, said his client “understands the gravity of his crime” and “has always emphasized his remorse and his acceptance of responsibility.”

The AP reviewed a transcript from the parole hearing. It reported, “Parole commissioners balanced Weidert’s youthful immaturity and lack of criminal record at the time and decades of good behavior in prison against what they called ‘an incredibly gruesome, violent, horrific murder’ in deciding he is no longer a risk.”

Some of Newsom’s Republican opponents in the upcoming recall election blasted the governor for failing to intervene.

GOP businessman John Cox, who lost big to Newsom in the 2018 gubernatorial election, condemned the governor on social media, saying Weidert “should never see the light of day again.”

“What Gavin Newsom has done sickens me,” Cox said in a statement posted to Twitter on Monday afternoon. “Gavin Newsom has no respect for public safety. His actions allowing this killer to go free are disgusting. We must recall Newsom from office.”

Another Republican contender to oust Newsom, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, tweeted, “Convicted killers belong in prison, no on our streets.”

“No one who beat, stabbed and then buried a person alive should be allowed to go free,” Faulconer continued. “@GavinNewsom let this happen. Once again, he has sided with criminals instead of victims.”

Newsom Allows Release Of Convicted Murderer Who Buried Developmentally Disabled Man Alive Newsom Allows Release Of Convicted Murderer Who Buried Developmentally Disabled Man Alive Reviewed by Your Destination on August 11, 2021 Rating: 5

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