|For Immediate Release
November 15, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
OCDA TO OPPOSE PAROLE OF INMATE CONVICTED OF MURDERING HUSBAND WITH THE AID OF BOYFRIEND IN ORDER TO COLLECT LIFE INSURANCE
SANTA ANA – Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) Tony Rackauckas is opposing the parole of an inmate convicted of murdering her husband with the aid of her boyfriend in order to collect $442,000 from her husband’s life insurance policy in 1984. Jeanette Lynn Hughes, 58, was convicted of first degree murder by a jury in December 1986 and sentenced to 26 years to life in prison. Then-Deputy District Attorney Richard Toohey originally prosecuted the case. Hughes is scheduled for a parole hearing at the Sacramento Central Office in Rancho Cordova tomorrow, Nov. 16, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. before the Board of Parole Hearings, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Chrisopoulos will appear at the hearing to oppose parole. The victim’s brother-in-law, nephew and niece will also attend the hearing.
Circumstances of the Murder
In 1984, then-29-year-old Hughes was married to James Dilbert Hughes, 37, and engaging in an extra-marital affair with her former employer, Adam Salas Ramirez, 42. The inmate and Ramirez plotted to murder Hughes’ husband in order to be together and collect $442,000 in life insurance.
At approximately 3:00 a.m. on Jan. 10, 1984, Ramirez armed himself with a rifle and instructed his son, Adam Edward Ramirez, 21, to drive him to the Hughes’ house. Once the younger Ramirez drove away, the older Ramirez was let into the house by the inmate. The victim was shot twice in the head while he was asleep. The couple’s 9-year-old son and a family friend had been sleeping in other rooms of the residence. Ramirez then drove away in the victim’s car. Later in the night, Hughes called 911 and falsely reported a robbery. The Huntington Beach Police Department responded and located Ramirez before he was able to ditch the stolen vehicle. Evidence later showed that the victim had been suffocated prior to the gunshots.
Lack of Insight and Threat to Public Safety
Shortly after her incarceration, Hughes escaped from the high-security California Institute for Women at Fontera on Mar. 25, 1990. This escape was especially troubling to prison officials as Hughes had been under constant supervision after it was found she had attempted escape by cutting her window bars. Hughes convinced the correctional officer assigned to guard her from potential escape, Cindy Marie Coglietti, 26, to help her flee the prison. The pair was eventually detained at El Paso International Airport in Texas.
Hughes has a history of being manipulative, demonstrated by her interactions with Ramirez and Coglietti. This demonstrates a danger to the community at large. Hughes’ disciplinary history shows a high disregard for the law and emphasizes her lack of insight to the severity of the crime she committed. Any progress she has made does not outweigh the factors of unsuitability, time served, or the brutality of the commitment offense; therefore, parole should be denied.