PAROLE DENIED FOR MAN CONVICTED OF BLUDGEONING-MURDER OF 55-YEAR-OLD TEACHER IN 1975 ROBBERY


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release









October 21, 2011

Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

PAROLE DENIED FOR MAN CONVICTED OF BLUDGEONING-MURDER OF 55-YEAR-OLD TEACHER IN 1975 ROBBERY

 

SANTA ANA – The Board of Parole Hearings (Board), California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, denied the parole today for 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 found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced Aug. 24, 1977, to life in state prison with an additional one year and four months for assaulting a prison guard. 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 a residential burglary and/or robbery and would have faced a minimum sentence of life in state prison without parole.

 

Deputy District Attorney Renee Jones appeared at the hearing to oppose Carney’s parole. The OCDA maintained 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.

 

Before denying Carney’s parole, the Board took into consideration his lack of rehabilitation and self-improvement and pointed out that the inmate had received two serious prison rules violations in the last six months for obstructing a police officer and battery on an inmate. Carney will be eligible for his next parole hearing in 2016.

 

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.