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Parole denied for Denair killer
Department of Corrections

A Denair man has again been denied parole for a 1991 murder because of a high-risk assessment.

Andrew Rick Lopez, of Denair, was found unsuitable for parole during an April 2, hearing of the State Board of Parole Hearings held at Pelican Bay Prison in Crescent City, California. Deputy District Attorney Monroe Tyler appeared at the hearing on behalf of the People.

On June 26, 1991, Lopez approached James Turnbough from behind and stabbed him 13 times in the back, stomach and chest after an earlier argument. Lopez later bragged about the conduct to one of the witnesses in the case. At the time, Lopez had just been released from prison and was wanted for absconding from parole supervision.

On Dec. 13, 1991 a Stanislaus County Superior Court jury convicted Lopez of second-degree murder with an enhancement for using a knife and having a prior prison commitment. He was sentenced to serve 17 years to life in state prison.

Since being in prison custody, Lopez has continued to accrue dozens of rule violations, including a recent 2018 violation for fighting. Lopez is also a validated gang member. Lopez has repeatedly contested these violations and still proclaims his innocence in the murder. A Comprehensive Risk Assessment conducted in 2019 by a prison psychologist found that Lopez still posed a high risk of future violence to the community if he were to be released.

Prosecutor Monroe argued to the board that a parole denial for five years was appropriate based on Lopez’s record of rule violations in prison and his failure to take responsibility for his actions.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board denied parole, finding that Lopez consistently minimized his conduct for the life crime, his criminal history and his prison rule violations. They denied parole for the minimum length possible of only three years.

This was Lopez’s fifth parole hearing, having previously been denied parole in 2016, 2013, 2009 and 2002. Lopez will be scheduled for another hearing in three years. He may be entitled to special consideration for earlier release because of his age and the amount of time he has already spent in custody if he can show a change in circumstances.