Ka Pasasouk, the man police allege pulled the trigger in last weekend's horrific Northridge quadruple homicide, was released from prison and placed into the hands of local probation officials even though state corrections authorities were concerned enough about his behavior behind bars to subject him to a psych evaluation last year, the Weekly has learned.
That evaluation apparently took place in March, 2011. In January of this year Pasasouk was released from prison despite a long record and multiple convictions. The release ...
... into the hands of L.A. County Probation Department might have been under California's controversial prison realignment program (a.k.a. AB 109), which allows corrections officials to place convicts in nonviolent, non-sexual crimes to come under the care of local probation officials.
The program is an effort to cut costs.
His prison time appears to be related to a 2011 conviction for meth possession, a case that was probably exacerbated by convictions, including robbery and vehicle theft, dating back to 2004 (see the Los Angeles Times for more on that).
The big question here is whether he might have been readmitted to prison had he been on state parole, which he might have been without AB 109, after he was arrested again in September for another alleged meth-related drug violation.
Luis Patino, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, told the Weekly "he could have been readmitted [to prison] either way" -- under parole or probation.
Parole, however, is the more serious of the two forms of supervision, with stiffer rules and arguably lighter triggers for readmittance.
We called Reaver Bingham, Deputy Chief of Adult Field Services at the county Probation Department, but had yet to hear back.
The Los Angeles Daily News says Pasasouk spent two weeks in local jail for that September allegation.
A decision, to allow him to remain free despite that arrest was made by a local judge about three weeks ago (more on that below).
Should his psych evaluation at California Mens Colony in San Luis Obispo County have raised a red flag regarding Pasasouk's eligibility for local probation in January?
"I don't know," Patino said.
The spokesman notes that Pasasouk, 31, served his time under state law, however, and would have been released with or without AB 109. The year-old state law simply allows for local probation supervision instead of state parole.
The Los Angeles Daily News reports this of the suspect:
[He] almost had his probation revoked just three weeks ago when he missed a court hearing. But when he showed up at the courthouse later that day, the judge allowed him to remain free.
Pasasouk also failed to check in with his probation officer twice this year, and the county was in the process of obtaining another warrant for his arrest before the Northridge shootings took place, county officials said Thursday.
The paper says Pasasouk made a deal with the judge in his September meth case: He would go free, but promised not to mess around with guns.
The Los Angeles Times says the quadruple murders at a Northridge boarding house, which some said looked like an execution-style killing (at least one victim reportedly on her knees and shot in the back of the head), might have been over "property" and a laptop.
The victims were identified as Amanda Ghossen, 24, of Monterey Park, Jennifer Kim, 26, of Montebello, Robert Calabia, 34, of Los Angeles, and Teofilo Navales, 49, of Castaic.
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Pasasouk and three other alleged accessories -- Howard Alcantara, 30, of Glendale, Donna Rabulan, 30, of L.A., and Christina Neal, 31, of L.A. -- were arrested in Las Vegas Monday. Alcantara is also suspected of robbery.
They were expected to be extradited to L.A. shortly.
Pasasouk's Facebook page, which displays photos of the suspect and his wall-to-wall tattoos, shows that he's a fan of Caesar's Casino in Vegas.