For Immediate Release
February 15, 2013
Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
PAROLE DENIED FOR INMATE CONVICTED OF 1998 MURDER OF BOYFRIEND WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS
SANTA ANA – The Board of Parole Hearings (Board), California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, denied the parole yesterday for an inmate convicted of the 1998 murder of her boyfriend weeks before Christmas. Judy Diane Valot, 54, was found guilty by a jury twice of one felony count of second degree murder and she was sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison. The first trial was overturned on appeal and the second trial resulted in a mistrial. The third trial in 2005 was prosecuted by Senior Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy. Valot is being held at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla. Senior Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Olivieri appeared at the hearing to oppose parole. Eight family members of victim Peter Theriault also attended Valot’s hearing.
The Board denied Valot’s parole stating that her lack of credibility and implausible deniability in claiming her innocence despite evidence and two guilty verdicts makes her unsuitable for parole. Valot will be eligible for her next parole hearing in 2020.
Murder of Peter Theriault
In 1998, then-41-year-old Valot and her 13-year-old daughter were living with the inmate’s boyfriend, then-51-year-old Peter Theriault. Valot and Theriault worked at Ford Motor Company, where they met. Valot’s belief that Theriault was being unfaithful with a young co-worker prompted Theriault to ask Valot to move out shortly before he went missing.
On Dec. 2, 1998, Theriault booked airline tickets for himself, Valot, and her daughter to visit his mother in Washington for Christmas. The next day, Theriault, who had not missed a day of work in almost three decades, did not show up to work. The defendant also failed to show up to work. In an opposition letter to the Board, the People state, “After the inmate brutally murdered him for her obsessive, irrational and wholly incorrect belief he was engaged in another relationship with another woman, she then dumped his body somewhere in the desert near Blythe.”
On Dec. 4, 1998, Theriault’s boss called his home and spoke to Valot, who told him calmly and casually that she didn’t know where Theriault was.
On Dec. 7, 1998, Theriault’s boss called the house again looking for him and told Valot that he would file a missing person’s report if she didn’t. That night, the inmate called Irvine Police Department to report her boyfriend missing. The inmate told police that they had a fight and he left the house saying he wouldn’t return until she vacated. Theriault had not packed and all his belongings were still in the home. She told police he had left in his Mustang.
Days later, the victim’s vehicle was found locked in a condominium parking lot three miles from his home. When questioned by police officers about the car, Valot admitted she had taken the Mustang stating that she wanted it to get stolen. Further investigation led to the discovery of drops of the victim’s blood in the home and on the tailgate of Valot’s pickup truck. The bed of her truck had been washed, but diluted blood was still found during the investigation. Theirault’s body was never found.