|For Immediate Release
May 2, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
OCDA TO OPPOSE PAROLE OF INMATE CONVICTED OF GAGGING-MURDER OF A MOTHER AND DAUGHTER IN 1983 ROBBERY
SANTA ANA – Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) Tony Rackauckas is opposing the parole of an inmate convicted of murdering a mother and daughter who were bound and gagged during a 1983 home invasion robbery. Edward Barrios, 51, is currently being held at California State Prison, Solano. Barrios was sentenced Aug. 12, 1986, to two 25 years to life in state prison terms, to be served concurrent, after he pleaded guilty to two felony counts of first degree murder, two felony counts of robbery, and one felony count of residential burglary. This case was originally prosecuted by former Deputy District Attorney Mel Jensen. Barrios is scheduled for a parole hearing tomorrow, Thursday, May 3, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. at the prison before the Board of Parole Hearings (Board), California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Deputy District Attorney Israel Claustro will appear at the hearing to oppose Barrios’ parole. The granddaughter and niece of the victims submitted a letter to the Board to oppose the inmate’s parole. Both of victim Elizabeth Schafer’s sons as well as other Schafer family members have been active in opposing Barrios’ parole by writing letters in the past.
Murder of Elizabeth and Alice Schafer
A week before Aug. 17, 1983, Barrios, then-21 years old, planned a home invasion robbery and conspired with two younger co-defendants to break into the Anaheim home of 96-year-old Elizabeth Schafer and her daughter 69-year-old Alice Schafer.
On Aug. 17, 1983, Barrios and the two co-defendants gained forced entry into the Schafer home. The defendants had cut the telephone wire outside the home to prevent the victims from calling the police and put stockings and masks over their faces to prevent being identified. Once inside, Barrios and his co-defendants bound and gagged the two helpless and elderly women. Barrios personally gagged Elizabeth Schafer. They forced the frightened women to lie face down while they ransacked the home for money and valuables. Before fleeing the scene with only $75, Barrios left both elderly victims bound and gagged to suffer an inhumane and slow death by suffocation.
Lack of Insight, Vocational Training, and Threat to Public Safety
In the 29 years of incarceration, Barrios has yet to develop insight into the home invasion robbery he orchestrated and the double-murders he committed. In the OCDA’s opposition letter to the Board, the People state, “…Inmate Barrios’ ‘currently reported lack of insight into his own emotional strengths and limitations is troubling’ because he has not ‘learned to identify or recognize early warning signs to his historical mood instability or substance use problems outside a structured environment.’” This makes him a threat to public safety, as recidivism is a possibility.