Updated after the jump with a response to Green's arrest from the Los Angeles police union. First posted at 3:09 p.m.
The man suspected of killing a Riverside police officer with his own gun was considered a "low level" non-violent parolee who received the state's minimum level of parole-officer supervision, records obtained by the Weekly show. He could have been behind bars until 2012 but was let out early following a spousal-abuse conviction.
Earl Ellis Green was arrested outside a Riverside Target store Tuesday night after Sunday night's shooting death of Officer Ryan Bonaminio.
Records show he was released from prison in February, 2009 following a conviction on corporal spousal injury. He was not part of the state's controversial early-release program known as non-revocable parole.
In fact he seemed to get relatively easy treatment because the state considers spousal-battery convicts low-level offenders.
His conviction would have allowed him to stay behind bars until February of 2012, according to state records.
According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise:
Riverside County court records reveal that a man with Earl Green's name and date of birth has a record of at least 13 cases stretching back to at least October 1990, when he pleaded guilty to two felonies: receiving stolen property and battery on a police officer and was sentenced to one year and four months.
On May 19, 2007, a Riverside County sheriff's deputy responding to a report of a domestic disturbance on Arvonna Drive in Moreno Valley encountered a disheveled and bloodied Green and two cars that had been vandalized, according to a court transcript.
Green's hands were bloody, he told Deputy Daniel Engels, because he had punched his car and that of his girlfriend, Tyronica Johnson. They were having troubles and he was upset, Green told the deputy.
Authorities allege Green was behind the wheel of a stolen big-rig tractor Sunday when Bonaminio tried to pull it over and ended up in a traffic pursuit. Green allegedly jumped out and ran, with the officer following on-foot.
The cop, authorities believe, was eventually shot with his own gun, which they say was recovered when they arrested Green.
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Green was tracked down through a fingerprint on the truck, police said.
Here's a good question: Why is someone who beats up their spouse considered a low-level offender worthy of early release? That's a violent offense, after all, even if the state deems it "non violent."
Update: The union representing LAPD officers, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, posted this response to Green's arrest on its blog:
Green has a long criminal history spanning almost three decades that includes convictions for domestic violence, battery of a police officer, drug dealing and vehicle theft. In 2007, Green was found guilty of felony vandalism and sentenced to three years in state prison, but served fewer than 20 months. He was released as a low level, non-violent parolee with the next-to-lowest level of supervision. Hardly a non-violent person, even Green's own family had recently sought a restraining order against him, according to a KNX report.
These facts raise two important questions for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) that warrant complete and honest answers.
1. Why was parolee Earl Ellis Green, who was on parole for domestic violence and who also had an extensive criminal arrest history, designated a low level, non-violent criminal and subsequently assigned to the next-to-lowest level of parole supervision?
2. Does the CDCR consider domestic violence to be a violent offense and if not, why not?