Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
OCDA TO OPPOSE PAROLE OF MAN CONVICTED OF BLUDGEONING-MURDER OF 55-YEAR-OLD TEACHER IN 1975 ROBBERY
SANTA ANA – Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) Tony Rackauckas is opposing the parole of an inmate convicted of murdering a school teacher for profit by bludgeoning him. Robert Lee Carney Jr., 56, is currently being held at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, CA. Carney was sentenced Aug. 24, 1977, to life in state prison with an additional one year and four months for the sentencing enhancement for the personal used of a deadly weapon, after he was found guilty of first degree murder. This case was originally prosecuted by former Deputy District Attorney Richard Farnell. Had he been prosecuted today, Carney would have been charged with special circumstances murder during the commission of residential burglary and/or robbery and would have faced a minimum sentence of life in state prison without parole. Carney is scheduled for a parole hearing tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 21, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. at the prison before the Board of Parole Hearings (Board), California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Deputy District Attorney Renee Jones will appear at the hearing to oppose Carney’s parole. The OCDA maintains that Carney has demonstrated a lack of rehabilitation and poses an unreasonable risk of danger to society, as evidenced by his 139 prison rules violations.
Murder of Gene Henderson
On Dec. 16, 1975, Carney, then 21 years old, and two co-defendants gained entry into 55-year-old Gene Henderson’s home under the pretense of paying a social visit. Carney knew the victim through the brother of one of the co-defendants. Carney and the co-defendants had planned to burglarize and rob Henderson, believing he kept large sums of money in his home. Henderson invited the defendants into his Anaheim apartment trusting them and served them drinks while having a conversation. Henderson was struck in the face with a wine bottle. When the victim attempted to get up, Carney took a torque wrench from his pocket and bludgeoned Henderson until he was dead. After the murder, Carney and the co-defendants ransacked the victim’s home and stole $30 in change from a jar.
Henderson was found in his apartment after co-workers became concerned when he failed to show up for work the next day. His body was discovered slumped against a wall in the bedroom. He had sustained multiple head wounds and a large amount of blood was lost, as evidenced by the spatters found on the walls of the bedroom and on his clothing and body.
At Carney’s sentencing, Aug. 24, 1977, the Honorable James Turner stated that Carney should never be released from prison.