After being rejected six previous times for release from prison, convicted murderer Leopoldo Navarette Canedo, of Modesto, was granted parole during a July 29 hearing before the Board of Parole Hearings at the Sierra Conservation Center in Jamestown.
In 1985, Canedo both used and sold drugs in Modesto. He and a co-defendant robbed two teenagers in front of a convenience store on South Ninth Street. Canedo told the victims if they called police he would kill both of them. Later that day, Canedo confronted a man, who allegedly owed him money, in the parking lot at the Sea Breeze Hotel on South Ninth Street. He later shot and killed a friend of the man who owed him money. Canedo used the same shotgun he had used to rob the two teenagers in the prior incident.
Canedo was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to serve life in prison.
Canedo was 36 when he committed the murders in 1985. Now 70, the board felt he was little risk to public safety given his age and lack of any rule violations in the last 13 years. Canedo also has a deportation order in place which may result in returning him to Mexico upon release.
Deputy District Attorney John Goold appeared at the hearing and argued against Canedo’s release, saying that the inmate continues to minimize his prior conduct, and because he had insufficient plans after release. Goold suggested Canedo poses a moderate risk of committing violence based on a 2018 evaluation done by a prison psychologist.
After hearing arguments from both prosecution and defense, the board made their decision after 15 minutes.