The man convicted of shooting a man during an armed robbery of a Bingo game at the Assyrian American Civic Club in Turlock has been found suitable for parole after a hearing with the State Board of Parole at the prison in Soledad.
Jeffrey Paul Sanchez, 49, of Modesto was convicted in 1990 of committing an armed robbery on Dec. 18, 1988 with several other co-defendants.
The Stanislaus County District Attorney’s office, represented by Deputy District Attorney Jeff Laugero, argued against Sanchez’s release.
Armed with guns, Sanchez and the other men were expecting to take money from the multitude of Bingo patrons, but they arrived late and only found the cleaning crew. The robbers confronted the six victims and forced them to lie down on the floor.
According to the district attorney’s office, Sanchez became enraged upon learning that the night’s bingo receipts had already been deposited at the bank. Sanchez pushed one of the victims with his rifle and then shot that victim in the middle of his back from only inches away.
Although the shooting victim survived, he has endured hospitalizations, surgeries and ongoing medical issues as a result of Sanchez’s actions.
As Sanchez later described it, he shot the victim “in cold blood” because he was angry they did not get the money they had planned on, according to the district attorney’s office.
The suspects got away with only personal items taken from the six victims.
A Stanislaus County jury found Sanchez guilty of attempted murder, second degree burglary, five counts of robbery, one count of attempted robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, and various gun enhancements. In 1990, he was sentenced to life plus nine years and eight months in state prison.
Sanchez has previously been denied parole six times, most recently in 2015. During the hearing, Laugero argued for continued confinement based on Sanchez’s lack of insight into the crime and the continued danger he presents to the community, however, the parole board gave weight to Sanchez being a “youthful offender” and opted to recommend his parole. California parole officials have 120 days to review the case and send it to the Governor’s Office, where it can be revoked or granted. The Governor’s Office also can send the case on for a full review by the state’s Parole Board commissioners.