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Hollister
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May 24, 2022

Fight for victims’ rights, not criminals

I am writing this letter concerning our District Attorney John
Sarsfield and his attempt to open up a case very close to my heart.
I also want to discuss the fact that this man, who was voted into
office by the people of this community, is wasting our taxpayer
money on reopening cases that do not even pertain to him. I
personally resent the fact that he is using the office of the
District Attorney in an attempt to discredit investigator Dennis
Stafford and our former District Attorney Harry Damkar.
I am writing this letter concerning our District Attorney John Sarsfield and his attempt to open up a case very close to my heart. I also want to discuss the fact that this man, who was voted into office by the people of this community, is wasting our taxpayer money on reopening cases that do not even pertain to him. I personally resent the fact that he is using the office of the District Attorney in an attempt to discredit investigator Dennis Stafford and our former District Attorney Harry Damkar.

Mr. Sarsfield, if you have so much time on your hands that you can go back and reopen cases you know nothing about, then you should not be our District Attorney. Our jail is overloaded with criminals that you are supposed to be responsible for getting a conviction. But exactly who do you work for? I am confused. You seem to care more about the criminal’s rights than the victim’s rights.

I have first hand experience with one of the cases you seem to want to overturn: my beautiful sister, Martha De La Rosa, was murdered Easter Sunday, April 3, 1988. Martha was a giving, loving, generous daughter and sister. She was 22 years old and was about to graduate from Gavilan College. She was active in our community as well as our church, Sacred Heart. Martha was a person, who, if asked to help, would not think twice about lending a helping hand.

Mr. Sarsfield, I resent the fact that you would use your position in this community to try to reopen my sister’s murder case, a case that was solved and closed. Especially when I know that Mr. Damkar, Mr. Stafford and the sheriff’s office led a team tirelessly for over four years to get solid evidence to get the case ready for trial. Four long years and one more for a conviction. The trial was moved to Visalia to insure that Gus Marlow was given a fair trial. What more do you want to do to protect Gus Marlow’s rights? Why do you want to give him a second chance?

Gus Marlow does not deserve a second chance. Do you know that for the rest of my life, I have to baby sit this person? I have to make sure that he does not go to committee or get an early parole hearing.

When will my sister get a second chance? Will I ever see her again? Or is this a matter of satisfying your own personal ego? You have no idea what my parents or my family has gone through. Not one day goes by that we do not miss her. How I wish I could see her again.

Gus Marlow was also convicted of killing another beautiful girl, Lisa Koehler. He was sent to CYA, but escaped and terrorized everyone involved. During his escape, he attacked, raped and tried to kill a woman who worked at the prison facility.

I am angry that Mr. Sarsfield would waste our time and energy reopening cases that he knows nothing about. Mr. Sarsfield, you are supposed to be working on cases that are happening now. If you have a personal agenda regarding Mr. Stafford and Mr. Damkar, you need to do it on your own time. I do not understand why you are willing to use your position in our community to bring these crimes out again. Mr. Damkar and Mr. Stafford are good people who did a good job when they were in the DA’s office. Had it not been for them, we may have not gotten a conviction. Every effort was made to ensure that Gus Marlow got a fair trial.

Please, Mr. Sarsfield, do not put my family through the pain of reopening the case. Losing my sister was a horrible experience. My parents were and continue to be devastated over this situation. Think of the victims first, not last. Do the right thing.

You need to uphold your position and take care of our community and what is happening in it now, not what happened in 1988. Do your job!

Yolanda De La Rosa and

the De La Rosa family,

Hollister

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