The family of 27-year-old Culver City murder victim Erica Evelyn Escobar will protest a controversial policy that put her alleged killer under minimal supervision after he was released from prison last year.
Thirty-one-year-old Zachariah Lehnen is accused in the early May double murder of Escobar and 89-year-old World War II vet Lucien Bergez at the latter's Culver City home.
He was in prison late last on a drug charge and was eligible to be released on non-revocable parole. So he was. The program …
… is designed to reduce the number of prisoners who end up back behind bars for small violations of their parole (smoking a joint or hanging out with a gang member, for example). California's prisons are grossly overcrowded, so every little thing helps.
Normally, a parolee can be “violated” back to prison for any little thing, and the burden of proof isn't like it is in a court of law: If a parole officer says you did it, that's about it.
In the case of Lehnen, family members allege …
… Erica Evelyn Escobar and Lucien Bergez were beaten, tortured and murdered by Lehnen Zachariah, a recently released parolee classified as a low level, non-violent criminal offender who had been placed on non-revocable parole.
Lehnen was picked up in a West Hollywood alley days after the killings. He's charged with two counts of murder with special circumstances (the slayings were allegedly committed during the course of a robbery).
The rally, with State Sen. Ted Lieu scheduled to attend, happens Friday at 11 a.m. at the Ronald Reagan State Building, 300 S. Spring St.