SANTA ANA, Calif. – Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer and 27other elected District Attorneys across California have been granted a Temporary Restraining Order preventing the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) from allowing second-striker state prisoners with serious and violent criminal histories to be released from state prison after only serving 1/3 of their sentence as a result of increased credits hastily adopted by the CDCR.
The CDCR adopted “emergency regulations” dramatically increased credits to 66% for state prisoners convicted of domestic violence, human trafficking, animal cruelty and possession of weapons by individuals who have previous convictions for serious and violent felonies. Normally those credits are limited to just 20%.
“Serious and violent felons should not be given a get-out-of jail free card after serving only a third of their sentence,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “These reckless policies do nothing to enhance public safety and only serve to re-traumatize the very victims who have had to endure countless court hearings to see these criminals finally sentenced to state prison only to watch them walk right back out years before they should. These are not “non-violent” criminals. These are violent felons who will be released back into our neighborhoods after being deprived of the benefit of effective rehabilitation. This is not recidivism reduction. This is perpetuating a revolving door of criminality without consequences.”
This newest “emergency regulation” comes after CDCR’s recently enacted so-called “emergency” regulations that allows for additional credits to be awarded to serious and violent felons, including credits that are not based upon completing any rehabilitation programs.
CDCR’s newest regulations provide additional good conduct credits to inmates working in fire camp related activities, but they also added additional credits to so-called “nonviolent” second strikers.
Under California law, “nonviolent” felonies include domestic violence, rape of an unconscious person, human trafficking, and assault with a deadly weapon. Second-strike inmates are individuals previously convicted of a serious or violent felony.
Unrelated to fire camp credits, CDCR also sought to increase credits to 66% conduct credits to second-strike inmates housed at a minimum-security level A or B facility – resulting in prisoners serving just 1/3 of their sentences. CDCR did so amid litigation challenging additional credits for serious and violent offenders.
In order to stop the enforcement of this newest early release “emergency regulation,” the 28 District Attorneys filed a petition for a temporary restraining order on December 22, 2021. On December 29, 2021, the Court granted the petition and issued the temporary restraining order against CDCR.
Orange County inmates who would be potentially eligible to be released after serving only one-third of their sentence as a result of this new regulation include:
Terry Hammond Williams (Case #18CF3037) – Human Trafficking
In October 2018, Williams contacted an investigator with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department on Facebook while the investigator was posing as a 16-year-old female named “Megan.” Williams learned that “Megan” and another 15-year-old girl, “Jessica” were working as prostitutes in Orange County. Williams encouraged Megan and Jessica to leave their present pimp after stealing his cash, guns and jewelry and told them that he’d come get them after he received money from them via a wire transfer. Authorities transferred the money to Williams, who traveled to an Orange County motel with a plan to pick both girls up. During the Facebook conversation and on audio calls, undercover officers told Williams very clearly that they were 15 and 16 years old.
On February 22, 2021 Williams was sentenced to eight years in state prison.
Williams has two prior strikes for felony convictions for residential burglary in 2013 and 2016.
Sergio De Rosas (Case #19NF2838) – Stalking
Over several months in 2019, De Rosas, a convicted drug dealer and gang member, repeatedly violated a domestic violence restraining order to stay away from the mother of his one-year-old son, contacting her with phone calls, texts, and showing up at locations where she was. The contacts became increasingly threatening and aggravated.
On October 20, 2019, the woman was at a laundromat with her 12-year-old daughter when De Rosas approached her, asking for his son. He threatened that he had a gun and he was going to shoot cops. The investigation later revealed hundreds of messages he sent to the woman threatening to shoot and kill her and kill as many police officers as he could.
On August 7, 2020, De Rosas was sentenced to 11 years in state prison.
He has prior convictions for robbery, possession of methamphetamine for sale, and being a felon in possession of a firearm along with gang enhancements.