Criminal Justice

Parole problems multiply for Department of Corrections

Jerimiah Halsey
Jerimiah Halsey

Update: At the time of originally publishing, we were awaiting confirmation on the parole status of the three individuals named in this report, but felt the reference to “parole violations” in the Denver Police Department press releases were warrant enough to report. We now have confirmation that all three persons mentioned within this article were on parole at the time of the incidents described.

Two separate high-profile incidents in Denver over the past week have these things in common: Each incident resulted in at least one death, and suspects in each incident were on parole.

On Sunday, February 21, the Denver Police Department (DPD) arrested Jerimiah Halsey, “in connection with a homicide that occurred in the 3400 block of Park Avenue West. Halsey is currently being held for investigation of First Degree Murder and a parole violation,” according to a department press release (emphasis added).

According to DOC spokeswoman Laurie Kilpatrick, Halsey was in violation of his parole and a warrant was issued for his arrest, “due to a GPS tracker, low battery alert and information he was no longer at his last reported residence.  The warrant was issued by Parole on Feb. 20, 2016.”

On Monday the 22nd, Denver Police were involved in a high-speed chase with two suspects involved in a suspected robbery and subsequent car jacking. One of those men, Gerardino Cayetano Gonzalez, was pronounced dead at the scene following a shootout with police where the chase ended near 32nd and Lowell. Denver Police officer Rachel Eid suffered a gunshot wound to the leg in the shootout.

Alfonso_Padilla
Alfonso Padilla

However, in the same incident, Denver Police also arrested Alfonso Padilla. According to the DPD press release, Padilla, “was arrested for investigation of First Degree Burglary on Monday, February 22, 2016, during the same incident that led to an officer-involved shooting. Padilla is currently being held on a parole investigative hold and may still face Burglary charges pending further investigation,” (emphasis added).

Kilpatrick said neither Gonzalez or Padilla were “in violation status at the time of the alleged incident. It is the alleged crime that prompted the parole violation.”

When you include the New Year’s Day death of Teodoro Leon III, three high-profile deaths in Denver since the beginning of the year are allegedly attributable to persons who were on parole from the Department of Corrections. At this point, all individuals named thus far in this report are only arrested and accused of wrong doing, but have not been convicted of any crime by a jury.

Complete Colorado has reported extensively on the case of Calvin Johnson, 44, was on parole when he allegedly murdered Leon by stabbing him to death in an alley near 10th and Acoma.

Johnson’s case is extraordinary for the fact that the month before he was arrested, the DOC Deputy Director of Parole Alison Morgan held Johnson up as a model of how well parole reforms were taking hold.

Additionally, Complete Colorado reported that Johnson’s tenure on parole was interrupted when he made threatening remarks about former victims, but he did not go in front of the parole board for a possible revocation. Weeks after that arrest, Johnson began to camp as a homeless man in a tent near 10th and Lincoln, just blocks away from the business Johnson repeatedly harassed and vandalized in 2006 that led to his incarceration.

Kathy Green, spokeswoman for Governor John Hickenlooper, provided the following statement regarding the numerous incidents involving parolees:

The Division of Adult Parole have an incredible responsibility in supervising over 8,000 parolees living in the community varying in risk and needs. Over 70% of these offenders have a substance abuse treatment need and approximately 36% have a mental health diagnosis. Decisions regarding arrest, revocation, and interventions are made on these cases every day based on the risk and needs of the offender and by utilizing evidence-based responses to violations. Statute dictates which violations require the offender be presented to the Parole Board.

Send us tips at CompleteColorado@gmail.com.

*Correction: Based on early press releases from the Denver Police Department and Denver District Attorney, the first edition of this article incorrectly identified the victim of the alleged murder as Leon Teodora. The victim’s name is Teodoro Leon III.

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