Daniel Wehner executed two UC Davis students in 1980
(Woodland, CA) - September 1, 2017 - Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that convicted murderer Daniel Wehner was denied parole for the eleventh time on Thursday, August 31, 2017, by a two-commissioner panel of the Board of Parole Hearings. The all day hearing took place at California State Prison, Solano in Vacaville.
In March, 1980, Wehner brutally murdered his former girlfriend Robin Ehlman and her friend John Manville at the Castilian Apartments in Davis. Robin was 19 years old when she was murdered and Manville, a UC Davis veterinarian student, was 25. Wehner had been stalking Ms. Ehlman and had physically and emotionally abused her during their relationship, causing her to lose consciousness after choking her on at least one occasion.
On June 19, 1981, after Wehner agreed to a plea, a Yolo County judge sentenced Wehner to 27-years-to-life for the murders. A court appointed psychiatrist interviewed Wehner’s family prior to the sentencing hearing. Family members described him as “irresponsible,” having an “explosive temper,” and “violent.” “He had a winning personality and charmed older people but had not an ounce of sincerity.” Wehner’s family described Robin as “soft and gentle.”
On Thursday, Commissioner Arthur Anderson and Deputy Commissioner Neil Chambers both agreed that Wehner still posed a continued risk to public safety should he be released from prison. Commissioner Anderson stated “that what we have here is extreme domestic violence that ultimately resulted in the execution of two young people." Commissioner Andres, speaking directly to Wehner, said he still lacked credibility. “You don’t have to remember the truth. If it’s the truth, you will always remember it,” said Anderson. Deputy Commissioner Chambers recommended that Wehner spend additional time exploring the domestic violence issue.
Those making statements at the hearing included John Manville’s older sister as well as Robin Ehlman’s father and younger sister, who was 14 when Werner murdered Robin and John. Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven represented the District Attorney’s Office at the hearing. Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel and retired District Attorney Investigators Kay Lipelt and Jon Updergraff wrote letters in opposition of Wehner’s release.
Chief Pytel stated that “Daniel Wehner committed atrocious and deliberate murders filled with hatred and rage. His release will do nothing but raise the fears of the citizens seeking solace of peace, order and justice.” Lipelt and Updergraff were both Davis police officers at the time of the murders. Updegraff, who was on his first week on the job, recalled these murders as being the most gruesome he has seen in over 30 years in law enforcement. When he arrived at the apartment, Mr. Manville was still clinging to life. He said "the gurgling sounds" he heard left an indelible impression on him.
Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig stated that he is proud of the efforts of his Lifer Parole Division. “I can’t imagine the pain these families continue to endure, it’s immeasurable. We will continue to do everything we can to support the Ehlman and Manville families and to remember and honor Robin and John. That is the very least we can do for these families and all families who have survived similar tragedies. We will also continue to object to the early release of any prisoner we believe poses a threat to the public.”
Daniel Wehner will be eligible for parole again in three years.