Sacto 9-1-1
December 5, 2011
Update: Mass murderer Juan Corona denied parole today

Convicted mass murderer Juan V. Corona was denied parole today, the Sutter County district attorney's office reports.

Corona, 77, was making his bid for parole from Corcoran State Prison where he is serving 25 concurrent prison terms of 25 years to life for the murders of 25 transient farmworkers in 1971.

"This was one of the first time he discussed the murders," said Jana McClung, assistant district attorney for Sutter County, who spoke at the prison against Corona's parole bid.

Corona previously admitted to a psychiatrist that he committed the murders, but this was the first time he made the admission in a public forum, McClung said.

"His reasoning (for the killings) was that they were trespassing," McClung said. But the facts don't support that, she said. "The facts would suggest that he lured them to his property," she said.

McClung said Corona is elderly and has dementia but is a bad candidate for parole. Parole hearings ask how the candidate would handle situations differently and how they intend on supporting themselves on the outside, McClung said Corona didn't provide satisfactory answers to those or other questions.

The bodies of the farmworkers were found buried in shallow graves on two farms in the Marysville-Yuba City area, where Corona worked as a labor contractor.

He was convicted in 1973, and again in a 1982 retrial.

Initially, the bodies of 12 farm laborers, all apparently hacked to death by a machete or stabbed, were unearthed in two orchards. Eventually, 25 bodies were recovered in what became one of the largest series of murders in U.S. history.

The State Board of Prison Terms denied Corona paroled in 2003. Two commissioners rejected parole, citing the "grotesque and horrendous" nature of the crimes, Corona's "deteriorating, paranoid mental condition" and his lack of parole plans,

"Juan Corona is a murderer who has never talked about his murders," said Sutter County District Attorney Carl Adams. "He has never given any indication to the board that he has come to grips with the circumstances that caused him to commit murder in the first place. That is the No. 1 reason that parole is denied."

Although time has passed, there is no reason to believe that he is not still a danger, said Adams.

McClung said the denial of parole for Corona, which lasts five years, was "absolutely appropriate."

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