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Convicted murderer Britt to be released from prison

Former Ceres resident and convicted killer Jack Dewayne Britt, 56, was found suitable for parole during a June 17 hearing of the State Board of Parole Hearings held at the State Prison in Corcoran.

Deputy District Attorney Vita Palazuelos argued for continued confinement, however during this, 14th parole hearing, the Board determined that he doesn’t pose an unreasonable danger to society and is suitable for parole, noting how the inmate had participated in numerous self-help and vocational programs.

Britt had previously been denied parole 13 times.

In 1981, then 17-year-old Britt, Jonathan McIntyre and Stoney Lynn Hunt kidnapped 51- year-old Modesto school teacher John Crahan. They believed Crahan, who lived with his mother, had access to a substantial amount of money which they could extort from him.

During the early morning hours of December 1, 1981, then 17-year-old Britt - along with 18-year-olds Stoney Hunt and Jonathon McIntyre – kidnapped and murdered Downey High School teacher John Crahan, 51. The trio mistakenly believed Crahan was wealthy because he drove a new Chevrolet Corvette. They planned to kidnap Crahan and force him to withdraw $1 million from his bank account. Crahan became aware of the plot, saw the trio approaching his Modesto house that morning and fired at them. Britt then shot and killed Crahan.

In 1982, Britt pled guilty to second degree murder with use of a firearm and attempted kidnapping for ransom. He was sentenced to serve 17 years-to-life in state prison.

McIntyre was convicted of first-degree murder, attempted kidnapping for robbery and conspiracy to kidnap for the purposes of robbery. He was sentenced to 25 years-to-life in state prison.

Hunt was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to serve 16 years-to-life in state prison.

A 2021 psychological assessment rated Britt as a moderate risk for violence if released on parole. The psychologist noted Britt was counseled for disobeying an order in 2018 and failing to respond to notices in 2020. Such conduct was notable as relatively recent indications of behavioral instability and challenges with complying with institutional rules, said Palazuelos.

In 2017 then Deputy District Attorney Jeff Mangar opposed release, noting Britt’s prison tattoo of a German helmet and Nazi swastika along with his violent and disruptive behavior that repeatedly occurred while in prison. The board agreed that Britt posed an unreasonable risk to public safety and denied parole for three years. 

His crime partners have already been paroled – Hunt in 2012 and McIntyre in 2010.