|For Immediate Release
September 20, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
PAROLE DENIED FIVE YEARS FOR INMATE WHO MURDERED 17-YEAR-OLD STUDENT AS SHE SLEPT ON PROM NIGHT IN 1991
*Inmate next eligible for parole in 2017
SANTA ANA –The Board of Parole Hearings (Board), California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations denied parole for five years yesterday, Sept. 19, 2012, for a man who shot and murdered a 17-year-old high school student on prom night while she was sleeping in her hotel room. Paul Crowder, 40, is currently being held at Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy. Crowder was sentenced Nov. 1, 1991, to 15 years to life in state prison and an additional four years for the personal use of a firearm.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Chrisopoulos attended the hearing to oppose Crowder’s parole and to assist the victim’s two family members who testified for the first time of the impact of their loss after learning of the matter through news reports generated by the Orange County District Attorney (OCDA).
Victim Berlyn Cosman’s sister, Morgan Kelly, who was 12 years old at the time of the murder, told the Board, “It has taken a lot of guts to be here, we are having to serve a life sentence.” Kelly stated, “I can’t believe the story he has told for 20 years, I don’t believe he is being genuine and honest.”
The victim’s mother Susan Cosman gave an emotional statement, telling the Board, “Everybody came home from the prom party but Paul Crowder didn’t let her come home.” Cosman also told the Board, “Crowder destroyed her life deliberately, I don’t want to see another family go through what we did.”
The Board took into consideration the facts of the case before denying the inmate’s parole. The Board felt the inmate was not credible during the hearing and needed more self-help programming, specifically focusing on anger management. Crowder will be eligible for his next parole hearing in 2017.
In 2010, the Board granted Crowder parole. On Nov. 12, 2010, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger invoked his authority to reverse the Board’s decision to grant Crowder parole for various reasons including lack of insight and responsibility of the murder. On March 31, 2011, the Anaheim Police Department sent a letter to the Board in opposition of Crowder’s parole. On Nov. 4, 2011, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. invoked his authority to reverse the Board’s decision to grant parole for the inmate for various reasons including the inmate’s dishonesty about the murder, failure to accept responsibility, and participating in illegal activity in prison, affirming Governor Schwarzenegger’s 2010 denial. On Oct. 19, 2011, the Board granted Crowder parole. On Jan. 26, 2012, the OCDA wrote a letter to Governor Brown informing him to deny the October 2011 parole grant for Crowder.