A former Modesto man who carjacked and kidnapped a man at gunpoint and forced him to write checks and withdraw money from an ATM was denied parole earlier this month, according to the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.
In May 1998, Juan Manuel Palacios-Perez and co-defendant Jose Moreno kidnapped the victim at gunpoint from in front of a convenience store in Modesto. As the victim was returning to his truck, Palacios- Perez pushed the victim from behind while holding a gun to his head, saying, “If you make a false move, I’m gonna kill you.”
Palacios-Perez got into the driver’s seat while Moreno got into the passenger side. Palacios-Perez drove the truck out of the parking lot. They took the victim’s checkbook and wallet and drove to an ATM, forcing the victim to withdraw money. Palacios-Perez then demanded that the victim write a check to them so that they could cash it.
While in a grocery store, the victim alerted a clerk that he had been carjacked and the clerk called 911. The police responded and both defendants were arrested.
Palacios-Perez and Moreno were convicted at a jury trial of kidnapping for the purposes of carjacking, using a gun and carjacking. They were both sentenced to life in prison.
In a letter to the parole board, Deputy District Attorney Jeff Mangar argued against release on parole based on the danger that Palacios-Perez still poses to the community as shown by his actions while incarcerated. Since going to prison, Palacios-Perez has been issued serious rule violations for manufacturing alcohol, possessing a weapon, disobeying prison guards and flooding his cell.
The Board of Parole Hearings agreed and denied parole for three years. This was Palacios-Perez’s fourth parole hearing. His next parole hearing is scheduled for the year 2020, but may be advanced as a result of recent changes in the law.