Would Ka Pasasouk, the man police believe murdered four people in Northridge last weekend, have been on the street had it not been for California's controversial prison-realignment program?
A state prison official told us yes: He served his time and was due to get out last January in any case. The only difference is that under realignment, he was sent to L.A. county probation for supervision instead of to state parole officers.
As the Weekly has learned that prison officials considered him to be an assault risk, an L.A. city councilman is questioning realignment and its effects:
Mitch Englander, who represents the area where the Sunday morning killing took place, has introduced a resolution that asks the legislature to fix prison realignment (and its laws, AB 109 and AB 117) so that people like Pasasouk, with violent-crime convictions under their belts, don't end up being the responsibility of local authorities too early.
A statement from his office notes that ...
... under realignment ... an offender whose most recent conviction is non-violent or non-serious, but who has prior convictions of violent crime, may likely be treated the same as an offender without a prior criminal record.
Realignment allows nonviolent, nonserious offenders to be handed over to county authorities, but it doesn't allow violent offenders to go local.
Pasasouk was given over to county authorities on Jan. 18 following a low-level vehicle theft conviction (and related time behind bars) despite his previous stint for robbery, a violent crime that otherwise would have prevented him from transferring to county supervision.
In other words, theft and not robbery was the "controlling" offense for which he was made eligible for transfer to L.A. county probation supervision, according to information obtained by the Weekly.
Critics wonder if this is a potentially deadly loophole or just a matter of tightening the law's language. AB 109 was drawn with the intention of cutting costs and, arguably, reducing the state's prison and probation burdens.
Englander, whose proposal was endorsed by councilmen Paul Krekorian, Dennis Zine, Joe Buscaino, Paul Koretz, and Herb Wesson, says:
After the jump: Authorities believed Pasasouk was violent:
The alleged killer of four people in our community had a long criminal history, including violent crimes, and the fact that he was out on the street and not behind bars underscores the dangers posed by re-alignment. The Realignment laws must be amended to protect our community from violent crime.
Information obtained by the Weekly shows that state prison authorities were officially concerned with Pasasouk's alleged propensity for assault with a deadly weapon, having drug paraphernalia, and drinking.
The crimes attached to Pasasouk's last prison stint include vehicle theft, robbery and another vehicle theft, the Weekly has learned.
But there's more: In September he was nabbed by cops with meth in his pants. Pasasouk pleaded no contest and, despite his record and probation status, the judge in the case decided to let him go free as long as he promised not to mess around with guns, according to the L.A. Daily News.
The Weekly learned that, in March, 2011, prison officials ordered Pasasouk to undergo a psychiatric evaluation while he was behind bars at California Mens Colony in San Luis Obispo County, ostensibly to check if he was mentally unstable.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Fox 11 News reported this week that Pasasouk is a member of the Filipino gang Pinoy Real (pronounced Spanish-style as ray-Al). The Weekly learned that his gangster name is Lil G.
During his recent criminal years, Pasasouk was listed as homeless or as having lived with relatives in Westlake and on the edge of Filipinotown.