|For Immediate Release
November 29, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
PAROLE DENIED FOR MAN CONVICTED OF MURDERING INNOCENT MOTORIST IN
CRASH WHILE FLEEING FROM SPECIAL AGENTS DURING COCAINE-SALE BUST
*Inmate was on parole at the time of the murder and speeding over 100 mph
SANTA ANA – The Board of Parole Hearings (Board), California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation denied the parole today for a man who murdered an innocent motorist in a 100 mph crash while fleeing from agents in an undercover cocaine sting. Luis Carlos Escobar, 51, is currently being held at California State Prison, Corcoran in Corcoran, CA. Escobar was found guilty by a jury Jan. 23, 1987, of one felony count of second degree murder, two felony counts of the sale of a controlled substance, one felony count of conspiracy to sell a controlled substance, and a sentencing enhancement for being armed with a firearm. He was sentenced March 16, 1987, to 15 years to life in state prison. This case was originally prosecuted by Former Deputy District Attorney and current Superior Court Judge, the Honorable Thomas Goethals.
Orange County Deputy District Attorney Matt Lockhart appeared at the hearing to oppose Escobar’s parole. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office maintained that Escobar is a threat to society based on the nature of the crime, his prior criminal record, and 28 prison rules violations while incarcerated. Escobar will be eligible for his next parole hearing in 2021.
Criminal History and Murder of David Vaca
In 1981, while on probation for another crime, Escobar was involved in and convicted of a conspiracy to distribute five kilograms of cocaine. He spent multiple years in federal prison for this crime. Only six months after being paroled from prison, Escobar got involved in a plot to sell two kilograms of cocaine for $80,000.
On Jan. 9, 1986, Escobar and a co-defendant sold the two kilograms of cocaine to undercover Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement special agents in an Anaheim parking lot. When special agents arrested his co-defendant, Escobar immediately fled the scene in a car at speeds in excess of 100 mph. To avoid going back to prison, Escobar recklessly drove with complete disregard for the safety of other motorists by running red lights and wedging his way between other cars at a high rate of speed.
The inmate ultimately murdered 23-year-old David Vaca, a graduate student, by crashing into the victim’s car as Vaca was waiting at a red light. The innocent victim was killed instantly.