Update: Murderer of SDPD Officer Archie Buggs granted parole
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — 2/23/2017 — The District Attorney’s Office confirmed Thursday that Jesus Cecena was granted parole.
It was a decision that ripped the heart out of Jesse Navarro, who was Officer Buggs’s partner and who was the first officer to arrive on scene with Officers Buggs dying in his arms.
When Officer Buggs pulled Cecena over for speeding in a Skyline-area neighborhood, Cecena opened fire, hitting Buggs several times. Buggs lost his balance and fell to the pavement. Cecena then walked over to Buggs and shot him in the temple.
This is the third time a parole board has granted freedom to Cecena with Governor Brown reversing the decision the two previous times, which is what Navarro hopes will happen this time.
Incredibly disappointed by Parole Boards decision to free Cop Killer Jesus Cesena. We’ll petition @JerryBrownGov to overturn this decision
— San Diego Police (@SanDiegoPD) February 24, 2017
.@SanDiegoPD Officer Archie Buggs made ultimate sacrifice protecting our community. Parole Board made terrible decision to let his killer go
— Shelley Zimmerman (@ChiefZimmerman) February 24, 2017
2/22/2017 — Two San Diego County prosecutors attended a parole hearing at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla Thursday to oppose the potential release of a man who was 17 when he killed a San Diego police officer in 1978.
Officer Archie Buggs, 30, was shot four times after he stopped a car driven by Jesus Cecena, a gang member in the Skyline neighborhood. Cecena fired five times at Buggs, then paused, walked toward the fallen officer and fired a final bullet into his head at point-blank range. Buggs died on the street, his hand still on his service revolver.
"This cold-blooded execution of an on-duty police officer devastated the officer’s family, his department and our community,” said San Diego County Chief Deputy District Attorney Summer Stephan, who will attend the parole hearing with Deputy District Attorney Richard Sachs.
"This crime was callous and inexplicably senseless. It demonstrated a total disregard for human life and disdain for those in a position of authority,” Stephan said.
Cecena was convicted of murder and sentenced in 1979 to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Since Cecena was a teenager at the time of the murder, his sentence was reduced to seven years to life in 1982.
A change in the law in 2014 made Cecena eligible to receive Youthful Offender Consideration at his parole hearings.
He was twice granted parole in 2014 and 2015, but each time Gov. Jerry Brown reversed the grant after the district attorney’s objection.
Cecena’s parole continues to be opposed by San Diego police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and the San Diego Police Officers Association.
"To this day, Cecena has never accepted full responsibility for executing Officer Buggs and glosses over the full horror of his actions,” said Sachs, who will argue against Cecena’s release.
"Cecena’s words of purported acceptance ring hollow, and do not demonstrate that he has fully embraced the execution nature of this killing,” Sachs said. "Unless and until he faces that, he will continue to be unpredictable and dangerous.”