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1996 Ceres 7-Eleven robber Eddie Patterson denied parole – again
• Robbed same store a week later
parole board

Eddie Lee Patterson, 55, who was convicted of two 1996 robberies of a Ceres convenience store, was found unsuitable for parole during an August 18 hearing of the State Board of Parole Hearings held at the California Correctional Center in Susanville.

Deputy District Attorney Melissa Chichportich argued for continued confinement.

Patterson robbed the 7-Eleven on Herndon Road in Ceres on Aug. 29, 1996 by threatening the clerk by yelling, “Give me everything in the register or I’m going to smoke you,” without displaying any weapon. After obtaining approximately $50 from the clerk, Patterson left the store.

A week later, on Sept. 5, Patterson went back to the 7-Eleven to rob again, this time with his face covered to avoid being identified. He placed his hand near his waist to simulate a gun and ordered the clerk to hand over the cash. Patterson left with a mere $25.

At the time of the robberies, Patterson was on parole having been previously convicted and sentenced to prison for robbery in Santa Clara County. In May 1996, he ran away from his parole agent who had a warrant issued for his arrest.

Ceres Police detectives arrested Patterson on Oct. 17, 1996 for both Ceres robberies. When interviewed, Patterson used his brother’s name of Gregory, and denied robbing the store. He also denied absconding from parole or having ever been in prison. When detectives showed him that his brother was in state prison, Patterson admitted lying about his name. When questioned about the robberies in Ceres, Patterson said he knew he was a candidate for a life sentence under California’s “Three Strikes” law. He also told detectives that he would not admit to having committed the crimes even if he had been the perpetrator.

Before Judge Al Girolami on July 14, 1997, Patterson pled guilty to one count of second-degree robbery. He also admitted having three prior “strike” convictions in Santa Clara County, two for residential burglary in 1985 and one for robbery in 1992. Patterson was then sentenced to serve 25 years-to-life in state prison under the “Three Strikes” law.

In his first parole hearing in 2018, Patterson admitted that he was heavily into crack cocaine at the time, that he was a “product” of his “environment” and offered no other reasons for his continuing criminal ways since childhood. The board found Patterson had little to no insight into the reasons why he chose a criminal lifestyle, that he had not created an individualized relapse prevention plan to avoid re-offending if released and that his parole plans were insufficient. They also found that he posed an unreasonable risk of danger to the community if released and denied parole for three years.

At a second parole hearing held last November, the board felt Patterson had a good relapse prevention plan and had insight into the causes and effects of his substance abuse earned his release. However, within a month of the board’s decision, parole was rescinded after Patterson was found guilty of delaying a peace officer while still in prison custody.

Patterson will be eligible for another hearing in 2024, or sooner if the Parole Board believes there have been any changed circumstances to justify holding the hearing sooner.