[UPDATED with Delay:] Harry Lloyd Howard, Who Beat a Liquor Store Clerk to Death With a Skateboard, Wants to Ride Out of Prison
The 47-year-old, who beat an Anaheim liquor store owner to death with a skateboard in 1989, reportedly sought the postponement, but it was not because he saw the legal stars aligning against him.
The Orange County Register quotes District Attorney Chief of Staff Susan Kang Schroeder saying Howard had the parole hearing pushed back so he could see how a federal court rules in a different case.
Schroeder reportedly did not know when Howard's parole hearing would be rescheduled.
ORIGINAL POST, JULY 27, 2:26 P.M.: When Anaheim liquor store owner Yeon Kon Chang refused to make change for then-25-year-old Harry Lloyd Howard, an argument broke out. Told to leave the store, Howard instead bonked Chang over the head with a skateboard. Then Howard rapped Chang's head several more times. Finally, after the confrontation spilled outside, Howard dragged Chang to a car, where the 40-year-old merchant was struck several more times with the skateboard and left in a pool of his own blood before. Howard then split.
Chang later died that October 1989 day at a hospital due to his head injuries. Howard was arrested for murder a little over a week later. Now 47, he wants to walk out of prison a free manThe Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) does not agree. Deputy DA Yvette Patko right about now is appearing via video conference before a parole board to argue against Howard's release from Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga.
A jury in 1990 convicted him of first degree murder, and a judge later sentenced him to 25 years to life in state prison.
Patko is arguing that Howard's lack of remorse, lack of acceptance of responsibility for Chang's murder and lack of rehabilitation demonstrate he is not ready to rejoin society.
The OCDA goes into more specifics with this portion of its announcement about the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations' Board of Parole Hearings hearing this afternoon:
Failure to Accept Responsibility and Lack of Rehabilitation
The People argued in a 2011 parole opposition letter that Howard "has an escalating pattern of criminal conduct.Through a period of approximately two years before the murder, the inmate managed to obtain convictions for grand theft, petty theft, trespass and false identification to a peace officer. At the time he murdered the victim, he was on probation." In addition, it was determined that Howard "had limited impulse control and poses a high risk for future violence in the free community."
Howard tried to cover his crime by asking a friend to lie to police. He continues to fail to take responsibility for the murder and maintains that he did not know what he was doing when he committed the crime because he was on drugs. He continues to claim that he should not have been convicted of murder and does not belong in prison. He has refused any help for his drug abuse and has not participated in drug abuse programs.
Howard poses an unreasonable risk of danger to society if he is released and his several serious prison rules violations show no signs of his rehabilitation. Howard has been cited for 13 rules violations while in prison including overly familiar conduct with staff, running a business exchanging medication for cigarettes in the institution, and multiple documented instances of possession of contraband including inmate alcohol, cell phones, and cooking greases.