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Career robber Patterson denied parole
parole board

Former Modesto resident Eddie Lee Patterson, 53, was denied parole during a June 12 hearing of the Board of Parole Hearings held at Folsom State Prison.

Deputy District Attorney John Goold fought against the release of Patterson who robbed a Ceres convenience store on Aug. 20, 1996 by telling the clerk, “Give me everything in the register or I’m going to smoke you.” No weapon was seen nor displayed during the crime and after obtaining $50 from the clerk, Patterson left the store.

While Patterson was denied parole for three years, under recent changes in the law he may petition for another hearing in as little as 18 months.

Patterson again robbed the same Ceres store on Sept. 5, 1996. In that case, Patterson covered his face and placed his hand near his waist as if he had a gun and told the clerk “Give me the cash.” After getting only $25, Patterson fled.

Ceres Police detectives investigating the robberies arrested Patterson on Oct. 17, 1996. At the time, Patterson was on parole for robbery in Santa Clara County but ran away from his San Jose parole agent in May 1996. When interviewed, Patterson gave his brother’s name “Gregory,” denied committing the robberies and denied absconding from parole or having ever been to state prison. When presented with the fact that his brother was still in state prison, Patterson admitted lying. When questioned about the robberies, Patterson told police that since he was a Three Strikes candidate, he would not admit to having committed the crimes even if he had been the perpetrator.

On July 14, 1997

Patterson was sentenced to a 25 years to life term on July 14, 1997 after he was convicted of robbery and admitted having prior “strike” convictions for residential burglary and robbery. He has spent nearly 22 years behind bars.

During Patterson’s initial parole consideration, Patterson told the board 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 criminality since childhood. Commissioners holding the hearing found that Patterson had little to no insight into the reasons why he chose the criminal lifestyle, had not created an individualized relapse prevention plan to avoid re-offending if released and his parole plans were insufficient, making him an unreasonable risk of danger to the community if released.