|For Immediate Release
July 18, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
PAROLE DENIED FOR FIVE YEARS FOR INMATE WHO MURDERED SHOPKEEPER USING SKATEBOARD OVER CHANGE FOR A PHONE CALL
SANTA ANA – The Board of Parole Hearings (Board), California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations, denied the parole for five years today for an inmate who murdered a shopkeeper using a skateboard for not providing change for a phone call. Harry Lloyd Howard, 48, was sentenced July 5, 1990, to 25 years to life in state prison after he was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of special circumstances murder in the commission of a robbery and burglary. He is currently being held at California Men’s Colony, San Luis Obispo.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Stephan Sauer appeared at the hearing to oppose parole. The Board denied Howard’s parole based on his decision to continue to blame the victim and accept full responsibility of his actions and failing to participate in any substance abuse or self-help programs. Howard will be eligible for his next parole hearing in 2017.
Murder of Yeon Kon Chang
On Oct. 22, 1989, then 25-year-old Howard entered Junior’s Market in Anaheim, owned by 40-year-old Yeon Kon Chang. Howard went inside to get change to place a telephone call. Chang refused to provide the change and asked Howard to leave the store. Howard began arguing with the victim inside the market and shoved Chang to the doorway. Howard bludgeoned Chang in the head four times with the skateboard he had been carrying. Chang tried to fight back, but eventually fell to the ground. Howard then grabbed Chang by the feet and dragged him behind a vehicle located outside the store. When Chang attempted to sit up, Howard struck him two more times in the head with the skateboard. Chang died the next day from massive head injuries.
Lack of Remorse, Lack of Insight and Threat to Society
Howard’s murder of Chang was carried out in a manner which exhibited cruel and callous disregard for the life of the victim. During an interview in 2009, the inmate claims that he was upset because the victim would not make change for him, showing that the motive for the murder was trivial.
Howard has shown no remorse for his actions. He continuously minimizes his responsibility by blaming his drug addiction and the victim’s actions. At the time Howard murdered Chang, he was on two grants of probation for grand theft and petty theft. The inmate failed to refrain from dramatically escalating criminal conduct, even when given a second chance.
While in custody, the inmate’s 13 disciplinary write-ups, including inciting others, attempting to own or operate a business, over-familiarity with staff, and possession of non-controlled medication, further shows that he is unable to avoid criminality, even in a highly structured environment such as prison.