Parole Board Denies Release in ’92 Gang Slaying

Harold Rigsby shot and killed Pierre Fortier because he had disrespected the Broderick Boys

Press Release

(Woodland, CA) - February 17, 2017 - Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that on February 16, 2017 40-year-old convicted murderer Harold Rigsby was denied release at a parole hearing at RJ Donovan State Prison in San Diego, CA. This was Rigsby’s fourth denial of parole.

On December 14, 1992, Rigsby, of West Sacramento, and several identified members of the “Broderick Boys” street gang met at the home of a young female. According to Rigsby, they lured 23-year-old Pierre Fortier to the home because he had made disparaging remarks about the “Broderick Boys” street gang. After beating Fortier, Rigsby shot and killed him with a sawed off shotgun.

Rigsby pled guilty to second degree murder. The Deputy Probation Officer who prepared the June 23, 1993, probation report stated, “This crime represents the ultimate violation of society’s morals, values and the basic human inherent goal to preserve and cherish life. Simply stated, the defendant callously and senselessly murdered an innocent person.” Judge Doris Shockley sentenced Rigsby to 15-years-to-life in state prison.

In 1993, the Sacramento Bee published numerous articles on the case highlighting the relationship between the murder and the Broderick Boys street gang of West Sacramento. In one article written by Bee reporter Andy Furillo with the title “Kids in Crisis, Killing stuns West Sacramento,” gang officer Sam Hernandez stated that “This homicide opened our eyes as far as law enforcement goes, to crack down on local gangs in West Sacramento.”

Rigsby had been housed at Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit (SHU) at MAX custody, due to his validation as a member of the Northern Structure prison gang. In August, 2010, he disassociated from the gang and was later transferred to RJ Donovan State Prison in San Diego.

Pierre Fortier’s mother, two of his brothers, and his sister-in-law attended the hearing. Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven attended the hearing on behalf of the Yolo County District Attorney along with Christine Ward of the ICAN Crime Victim Assistance foundation.

The hearing lasted nearly five hours. After deliberating for over an hour, the commissioners found that Rigsby was not suitable for parole because of the commitment offense, his prior criminality, his unstable social history, and his poor record while in prison including his gang affiliation. They did add that he had made excellent progress in the last six years. Commissioners denied Rigsby parole for an additional three years.

Jonathan Raven & Christine Ward with Fortier family outside RJ Donovan State Prison