|For Immediate Release
June 12, 2013
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
OCDA TO OPPOSE PAROLE OF INMATE CONVICTED OF MURDERING 15-YEAR-OLD GIRLFRIEND AND 19-YEAR-OLD FRIEND IN 1981
SANTA ANA – Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) Tony Rackauckas is opposing the parole of a man convicted of murdering his 15-year-old girlfriend and 19-year-old male friend in 1981. Robert Edward Whalley, 48, formerly of Westminster, is currently being held at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, San Diego. Whalley was sentenced April 2, 1982, to 17 years to life in state prison after he was convicted of two felony counts of second degree murder with the use of a firearm. The case was originally prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Michael Jacobs. Whalley is scheduled for a parole hearing tomorrow, Thursday, June 13, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. at the prison before the Board of Parole Hearings (Board), California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Alison Gyves will appear at the hearing to oppose Whalley’s parole.
Circumstances of the Double Murder
On June 22, 1981, Whalley’s mother hosted a party at her house and provided alcohol for the teenage partygoers. Whalley, then 16, was at the party with his 15-year-old girlfriend Brenda Baird. During the party, Baird informed Whalley she wished to end their relationship and an argument ensued. Whalley retrieved a .22 caliber handgun from under his bed, which he had stolen from Baird’s father a few weeks prior to the murder, and a shot was fired as Baird tried to take the gun. No one was hit by that shot.
Hearing the shot and the argument, partygoer William “Bill” Heinz, 19, came into the room and was shot in the chest by Whalley. Baird locked herself in the bathroom, but was pressured to come out after Whalley threatened to kill himself unless she opened the door. When Baird came out, Whalley shot her in the arm and then shot her again in the neck as she tried to run back into the bathroom. Heinz was pronounced dead at the scene by authorities and Baird died shortly thereafter at the hospital.
Lack of Insight and a Threat to Public Safety
In July 2012, the Board granted parole to Whalley, but in November 2012, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. reversed the Board’s decision to parole Whalley, primarily because the inmate hadn’t demonstrated any insight into his actions and continues to maintain that Heinz’s death was accidental.
Though Whalley has been discipline-free for 13 years, the inmate hasn’t been able to adequately explain his 20-year history of violent and aggressive behavior while incarcerated, amassing 44 incidents of serious misconduct including stabbing inmates, attacking correctional officers, and making weapons for gang-member inmates.