The Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office is asking the public to speak out to keep a killer behind bars.
Ronald Anderson, one of four then-teenagers convicted of killing Phil and Kathryn Ranzo at their Modesto home in 1979, was granted a parole date at a Dec. 27 hearing.
In June 2016, he was denied freedom for the eighth time since his conviction in 1980 of driving the getaway car for co-killers Marty Don Spears, Jeffrey Maria and Darren Lee. All the others remain behind bars as well, either denied parole or having parole overturned by the governor.
The State Board of Parole Hearings' December decision in his favor gets an administrative review after 127 days, then 30 days later goes to Gov. Jerry Brown, said Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office spokesman John Goold. "We've written a letter to the governor (asking him to overturn the parole decision) and are asking others to write letters. We've been in touch with the victims' family members."
In the letter from DA Birgit Fladager to Brown, she says Anderson, then 18, was a willing participant in the robbery that resulted in Kathryn Ranzo's rape and her husband's murder. Anderson served as the group's getaway driver.
She noted that Anderson's 2016 psychological assessment found his risk to the community higher than stated in his 2011 assessment because of his serious behavioral issues while incarcerated, indifference to rules, unwillingness to discuss his crime in a forthright manner and lack of insight into what triggers him to violence.
At the hearing, former Stanislaus Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth DeJong (now with San Joaquin County) argued that Anderson has not upgraded his education since 1989, has continued to be violent and does not have firm parole plans. "He's not matured in prison and he's remained a criminal," she said, asking that parole be denied for at least five years.
Asked by the presiding commissioner if he thinks his prison sentence is fair, given that Anderson apparently was "not a very active participant, the inmate replied, "There isn't a sentence under this sun that would justify what I did. There's nothing that would justify this horrendous, heinous, atrocious case."
In response to a follow-up question on his guilt, Anderson said, "I'm guilty because I was an active participant in a double murder and a robbery of a home of a husband and wife, orphaning a 10-year-old little boy. ... I'm guilty, guilty as sin."
In a Facebook post, the District Attorney's Office asks that people send letters to "The Honorable Edmund G. Brown, Jr. State Capitol, Suite 1173 Sacramento, CA 95814.
"In your letter, be sure to reference Ronald Lee Anderson CDC#C17565 and ask Governor Brown to overturn the decision to grant parole."