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Convicted murderer Blanusa may land in Hughson soon

Felon found suitable for parole

Convicted murderer Blanusa may land in Hughson soon


POSTED July 5, 2017 2:03 p.m.

Will a convicted murderer be moving to Hughson?

Unless Gov. Jerry Brown reverses a decision of the State Board of Parole to release 64-year-old Rudy Milan Blanusa, 64, that is the case, said Stanislaus County Deputy District Attorney Randy Fischer.

Blanusa could be released within 150 days to live with his mother living in Hughson.

On June 28 the board conducted a parole hearing at the California Medical Facility Prison in Vacaville and found Blanusa suitable for parole.

Fischer argued for Blanusa's continued incarceration based on the violent nature of his offense and lack of rehabilitation. The hearing was attended by several of the victims' next of kin who also opposed release on parole.

On October 14, 1986, Blanusa and crime partners Chris Towler and Ed Haro killed brothers Gilbert and Joseph Flores believing they had burglarized Haro's home. Haro had threatened on several occasions to kill the persons who stole his property and deliberately searched for them with Blanusa and Towler in tow. The trio located the Flores brothers at their south Modesto home, kidnapped at gunpoint and took them to a rural peach orchard near Ustick Road and West Whitmore Avenue where they were shot 12 times with three different guns. Authorities say Blanusa was the trigger man in the execution style slayings.

Blanusa fled California to escape arrest, hiding for several years in Canada. He was captured in Burnaby, a Vancouver suburb, after his case was profiled on the "America's Most Wanted" TV show and a viewer turned him into authorities. He was extradited from Canada in June of 1989.

Blanusa, Haro and Towler were convicted at separate jury trials of the two murders and two counts of false imprisonment along with firearms enhancements. They were sentenced to over 30 years-to-life in prison.

At the time of the murders, Blanusa was affiliated with several outlaw motorcycle gangs, including the Hell's Angels and Barhoppers, where he earned the street name of "Mayhem Mike."

During the parole hearing, Blanusa claimed to have committed the murders because he was loyal to his friends "to a fault," a different version from his statements at previous parole hearings.

This was Blanusa's third parole hearing. In January of 2016, he was given a three-year denial based upon a psychological report that determined he posed an unreasonable risk to public safety if released. Under new rules passed by the state Legislature for elderly inmates, Blanusa was able to accelerate his parole hearing to June 28. The same 2016 psychological report was used once again this year, prompting Parole Commissioner Anderson to state that Blanusa was "violent beyond our imagination" before granting him a parole date. Commissioner Anderson previously granted parole to Haro in 2011.

 

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