SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) — California’s parole board has voted to release one of the men convicted of kidnapping a 15-year-old boy murdered over a drug debt, a slaying that inspired the 2007 movie “Alpha Dog.”
The Board of Parole Hearings on Tuesday upheld a July decision to release 33-year-old Jesse Rugge, after Gov. Jerry Brown asked the board to reconsider.
Parole board spokesman Bill Sessa said Rugge could be released on parole as early as next week.
Rugge was one of four accomplices of marijuana dealer Jesse James Hollywood, who prosecutors said orchestrated the kidnapping and killing of Nicholas Markowitz in 2000 because the teen’s half-brother owed a drug debt. Rugge was convicted of kidnapping but was acquitted of murder.
Sessa said the board decided Rugge “no longer poses an unreasonable risk of danger to the public.”
Friends of the Markowitz family are outraged that Rugge is up for parole.
“Nick lost his life and [Rugge] gets to walk away? Ten years is not justice,” said Nadine Teeter.
She said Rugge’s release is just opening up old wounds for the family.
“[Markowitz’s mother] will never, ever be able to watch her son grow up…and watch him get married and Jesse Rugge gets to just walk away. It’s not fair,” said Teeter.
Markowitz’s mom told KCAL9′s Brittney Hopper that she was also outraged by the pending release, but was too under the weather Thursday evening to speak openly about it.
She told Hopper she will be talking publicly on Friday.
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