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) – July 24, 2015 - Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced today that 38-year-old convicted murderer Harold Rigsby was denied release at a parole hearing on July 23, 2015 at RJ Donovan State Prison in San Diego, CA. This was Rigsby’s third 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.” Nearly 20 years later, in June, 2011, after numerous gang crimes perpetrated by the Broderick Boys, Judge Kathleen White imposed a gang injunction which sets a curfew and restricts other activities of gang members within an area of West Sacramento called the “Safety Zone.”

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, his three 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. In a statement to the commissioners, Norbert Fortier urged the commissioners to deny parole and stated “we die a little bit ourselves each day without Pierre.”

The hearing lasted five hours. After deliberating for 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 four years. He will not be eligible for another parole hearing until 2018.

Chief DDA Jon Raven and ICAN Foundation representative Christine Ward with the Fortier Family.

Chief DDA Jon Raven and ICAN Foundation representative Christine Ward with the Fortier Family.