DA reacts to parole rejection for murderer Marlow

District Attorney Candice Hooper is seen in 2009 during a preliminary hearing in a case against a mother suspected of killing her young child.

District Attorney Candice Hooper reacted Tuesday to last week’s parole denial for a notorious Hollister murderer.
“We as a community, me as the conduit, but we as the community were able to be successful,” Hooper said at Tuesday’s county board meeting, moving on to thank the sheriff’s office, Hollister police and the courts for their help.
Hooper also thanked her department’s victim-witness division, State Sen. Anthony Cannella and Assemblyman Luis Alejo for their letters in support of rejecting parole for Gustavo Marlow, convicted of two local murders and a rape in Merced County.
The D.A. recalled there were more than 30 people present to argue against Marlow’s release and that the hearing lasted from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. She said the 13 speakers against Marlow’s parole was the most the parole board ever heard for one case. She said it was an emotional setting.
“We ran out of Kleenex, if that gives you any idea,” Hooper said.
Hooper talked about the law change that allowed Marlow’s possible parole. The law enacted in early 2014, Senate Bill 260, opened up parole eligibility for those convicted of committing violent crimes as juveniles. Since Marlow committed the two murders at age 17, the law’s juvenile provisions apply to those homicide sentences and his time is now up—before parole eligibility—on the rape case.
Hooper said she understood the spirit of the law, but not necessarily the application.
“However, the application of it, at least in our case, was to further victimize our families,” Hooper said.
She said in the case of Marlow, the law was “too far reaching.”
“I’m going to do everything I can through my association to limit the application,” she said.
Although the county allocated $25,000 toward the Marlow parole hearing effort, Hooper said about $10,000 was spent and the rest would return to the general fund.
“It was a great day,” she said.
Marlow will spend at least another 15 years behind bars following that parole hearing last week.
The Jamestown parole hearing April 7 resulted in a denial for Marlow, so he will have to wait another 15 years before another parole opportunity.
Before the Thursday morning proceeding, the San Benito County District Attorney’s Office had received the $25,000 in non-budgeted funding to prepare for the parole hearing of the local murderer. It went toward preparing victim/witness interviews, statements and findings—along with travel and other incidental expenses—for the hearing.
Marlow was convicted for two separate murders at age 17 in 1988 and a rape/assault three years later. Since his sentence was over on the rape conviction, he was eligible for parole on the homicide cases due to a new state law opening up such eligibility for crimes committed in youth.
Marlow went before the Jamestown parole board in a hearing to determine whether to grant him freedom after the 1988 killings of 21-year-old Martha Delarosa and 16-year-old Lisa Koehler.
Marlow was captured after a period of 18 months in the Hollister area involving an ongoing series of stalking, assault and rape incidents that authorities later linked to Marlow as a suspect. After his arrest for the two homicides and a long case duration, due to the district attorney’s groundbreaking use at the time of DNA evidence, Marlow had been in the California Youth Authority system for three years when he escaped and then raped and assaulted a 32-year-old laundry worker on his way out.
He initially received a total sentence of 66 years to life in prison.

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