(Woodland, CA) - October 4, 2017 - Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that yesterday a two-commissioner panel of the Board of Parole Hearings denied the parole of David Cree of West Sacramento. The hearing took place a California State Prison at Solano in Vacaville, CA. This was Cree’s third lifer hearing. He was denied parole in 2014. He was granted parole in 2016 but Governor Jerry Brown reversed the Parole Board’s decision.
On October 8, 2000 the 20-year-old Cree and his crime partner, Jesse Lampkin, were driving along Capitol Avenue in West Sacramento after a night of drinking. Lampkin was a minor at the time. Cree was looking for a man that assaulted him 10 months earlier. He and Lampkin modified a shotgun so it was sawed off. Lampkin was passed out in the car drunk. Cree drove by the victims, Jimmie Richardson and Gregory Rowan. Cree pulled the car over and said to Rowan “where are the girls.” According to both Cree and Lampkin, Lampkin then pulled out the sawed-off shotgun and fired a number of rounds at Richardson and Rowan. Richardson died that day and Rowan survived with serious injuries.
In 2003, a Yolo County jury convicted Cree and Lampkin of 2nd degree murder and discharge of a firearm. The trial judge sentenced him to 15 years-to-life in state prison. The jury also convicted Lampkin of murder but his case was reversed on appeal due to a violation of Lampkin’s Miranda rights. On a retrial, a jury convicted Lampkin of manslaughter. Lampkin has since been released from prison.
The October 3, 2017 hearing took five hours to complete. Chief Deputy District Jonathan Raven represented the District Attorney’s Office. The family members of Mr. Richardson were never notified about the trial or the past two parole hearings. Six weeks ago, a District Attorney investigator located the twin daughters of Mr. Richardson. And on the morning of the hearing, the wallet, watch and other items belonging to Mr. Richardson were collected from the West Sacramento Police Department and given to Mr. Richardson’s children. The twin daughters attended the hearing along with Mr. Richardson’s son and his common law wife.
Commissioners Michael Ruff and Mike Grottkau determined that Cree, now 37 years old, still posed an unreasonable risk to public safety should he be released from prison. During the hearing Commissioner Ruff questioned how Lampkin could have been the one who fired the shotgun when according to Cree, Lampkin was drunk, had gotten sick and was passed out. Ruff stated that the inmate’s “credibility and minimization was somewhat overwhelming.” He went on further to say that the inmate’s “lack of responses showed a lack of insight into the understanding of who you are and what you did.” Ruff also cited Cree’s conviction for involuntary manslaughter when he was a juvenile in 1996. Cree shot and killed a 46-year-old man who had acted sexually aggressive towards him. For this crime he spent time in the California Youth Authority.
The Commissioners determined that a three year denial was appropriate at the present time. The Commissioners noted that although the inmate had made progress in recent years, they were concerned about Cree’s recent prison rules violations which involved violent and aggressive behavior. West Sacramento Police Chief Thomas McDonald submitted a letter of opposition to Cree’s release. Chief McDonald stated that “Mr. Cree’s willful disregard for human life and his inability to follow the law, or rules in general, makes him an unsuitable candidate for parole.”
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 do everything we can on behalf of the Richardson and Rowan families and to remember and honor Jimmie Richardson and Gregory Rowan. That is the very least we can do for these families and all families who have survived similar tragedies.”
David Cree will be eligible for a new parole hearing in 2020, however, the law permits him to request an earlier hearing date.