LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The mother of a teen boy kidnapped and murdered more than a decade ago is voicing her outrage that one of the defendants is about to be released from prison.
“I have lost a sense of justice. I have lost Nick all over again. It’s like him dying all over again,” Susan Markowitz told CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Randy Paige.
In August 2000, 15-year-old Nicholas Markowitz was kidnapped because of a drug debt his half brother owed a dealer named Jesse James Hollywood.
The innocent teen was held for three days, then tied up with duct tape and led to a shallow grave where he was shot nine times. Markowitz’s last days inspired the 2006 film “Alpha Dog,” which featured an A-list cast and garnered international attention.
Hollywood, considered the mastermind behind the brutal murder, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
The shooter, Ryan Hoyt, was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.
Jesse Rugge, now 33, was convicted of kidnapping and sentenced to life with the possibility of parole in 2002.
“He walked my son up to the grave that was already dug. He walked him up and he duct-taped his hands behind his back and his feet together and told Nick, ‘I’m not going to hurt you,” Susan Markowitz said. “And Nick responded, ‘I know you won’t.’ How can you say that and then follow through after looking into those innocent eyes that are now crying…that’s a special kind of evil.”
This week the California state parole board granted Rugge’s request for parole. He is scheduled to be released Tuesday.
“It’s very upsetting to think he’s going to get out and get married because he has a fiancée and have babies,” Markowitz said.
“The things you always dreamed about for your son?” Paige said.
“Yes. He was my only child,” Markowitz said.
The state parole board declined Paige’s request for an on-camera interview, saying it’s policy not to comment on specific cases. The board said they based their decision on a finding that the prisoner “no longer poses an unreasonable risk of danger to the public.”
“What do you say to those who say everyone should get a second chance and that’s what the justice system is about. When you show that you are not a danger to society and you’ve learned your lesson should you have a chance to go free?” Paige said to Markowitz.
“I think that when it involves taking the life of another that you should forfeit yours,” said Markowitz, who said the parole board’s decision has denied her son the justice he deserves.
For more information about Nicholas Markowitz’s story and how his mother uses it to inspire positive change visit www.mystolenson.com.