Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer and the family of a 1979 Bakersfield murder victim responded to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision to commute the offender’s sentence.

Dwayne Allen was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for the murder of Chhotubhai Patel at the Knight’s Rest Motel on Union Avenue in March 1979. Patel was the part-owner of the motel after immigrating from Zambia in 1978, according to a news release from the DA’s office.

“At the same time Governor Newsom commuted the sentence of Dwayne Allen, he pardoned an immigrant murderer so she would not be deported,” Zimmer said in the news release. “It is a pity that the Governor’s concern extends only to immigrant murderers, but apparently excludes immigrant victims of murder.”

The DA’s office objected to the commutation of Allen’s sentence. The news release said neither the DA’s office nor Patel’s family were given prior notice of the commutation.

“The loss today is as great and difficult as if it happened yesterday,” Patel’s family said in a statement issued by the DA’s office.

Patel’s family “never recovered” from the murder and lost the business after his death, according to the DA’s office.

“Mrs. Patel recently passed away. She never remarried and carried a deep sadness for her husband for the rest of her life,” the DA’s office said.

On March 13, 1979, Allen shot Patel at point-blank range in the motel lobby during a burglary. Allen formerly lived at the motel and moved out the month before after not paying rent, the DA’s office said. Patel, who died within hours of being shot, told police at the scene that the shooter was Allen, who was arrested the next morning.

On Friday, Newsom granted 13 pardons and 21 commutations to CDCR inmates. In March, Newsom commuted the sentences of 22 inmates, including convicted Kern County murderer Steven Bradley.

In a news release, Newsom said Allen has dedicated 41 years of incarceration toward rehabilitation.

“Mr. Allen earned his GED, completed vocational training and maintained consistent employment throughout his incarceration, routinely receiving exceptional work ratings from his supervisors,” Newsom said.

“I have carefully considered and weighed the evidence of his positive conduct in prison, the fact that he was a youthful offender, his advanced age and long-term confinement and his good prospects for successful community reentry.”

A commutation will allow Allen, 62, to go before the Board of Parole Hearings at which the parole commissioners determine whether he’s suitable for release from prison, according to Newsom’s office.

In a Facebook post Monday, Zimmer said the DA’s office will continue seeking justice for Patel’s family.

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(4) comments

Masked 2020

what's up with Zimmer....... its the if she wants to talk about MaskedMike2020 and NakedDon.....I mean their lawless.... THE LAW...People who have been convicted of a crime and are currently serving their sentence in California may apply for a commutation (reduction of sentence). In deciding whether to grant a commutation, the Governor’s Office will carefully review each commutation application and consider: the impact of a commutation on the community, including whether the grant is consistent with public safety and in the interests of justice; the age and circumstances of the offense and the sentence imposed, and the age of the applicant at the time; the applicant’s self-development and conduct since the offense, including whether the applicant has made use of available rehabilitative programs and has identified and addressed treatment needs; the applicant’s need for a commutation; and the applicant’s plans upon release from custody.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

Yorkies: Copied and pasted right from your governor's website; again, trying to feign intelligence...

Very original- tell me, who's side are you on regarding justice and the law?

Would you feel the same way if the "Guv" commuted a sentence for someone that killed one of your family members??

Oh, that's right- Newsom's a Democrat; nevermind- I think we all know the answer to that one...

All Star

I never released you were so learn-ed.


Everything the Pelosi's touch turns to cr@p. 1st Baltimore, then San Francisco, now California. Democrats are the virus!!!

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