Parole denied for Stockton man in fatal '86 beating

June 13, 2013 

Authorities denied parole to a Stockton man in prison for severely beating to death a high school teacher and dumping his body in a canal, where it was found in Patterson about a month after the 1986 attack.

During last week's parole hearing, Antonio Perez changed his story numerous times about the circumstances of the murder, according to the Stanislaus County district attorney's office.

The prosecutors said Perez initially minimized his involvement in the murder, before he went into several other explanations about the victim's death, including a heroin overdose, an accidental fall, suicide and other people poisoning him.

Deputy District Attorney Jeff Mangar argued for continued confinement based on Perez's deceptive answers during the parole hearing.

"Most troubling is that Perez has lied numerous times to this very board today as to what happened and how he has learned from it," Mangar argued in the hearing June 5 at the state Correctional Training Facility in Soledad.

Perez, 60, will next be scheduled for a parole hearing in seven years. He was convicted in 1987 of first-degree murder with use of a weapon and is serving a sentence of 26 years to life in prison.

In January 1986, Perez used a heavy, blunt object to beat the 55-year-old teacher from Stagg High School in Stockton, according to prosecutors. The victim suffered multiple cuts and fractures on his skull.

Perez had met the victim through Perez's girlfriend. Prosecutors said Perez dumped the victim's body into the Delta-Mendota Canal near Stockton.

Witnesses later spotted Perez driving the victim's car on numerous occasions. At one point, Perez told the victim's neighbor that the victim had been arrested in Mexico for smuggling drugs, and he asked the neighbor for $1,500 to bail out the victim from a Tijuana jail.

In February 1986, the victim's badly decomposed body was discovered floating in the canal in Patterson.

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