Has he paid the price or is it a mistake to set him free? That’s the question being asked by many this morning in the Napa Valley.
According to a story in the Napa Valley Register, 48-year-old Todd Ferguson has been paroled after spending almost 30 years in prison for his role in the December 1981 murder of Richard Philbert, who was working as a clerk at Val’s Liquors in addition to being a Napa High School teacher at the time.
The Register’s story said that Ferguson was the getaway driver in a murder/robbery attempt at the liquor store in 1981, while his accomplices Burl Bilyeu and Shane Quinell entered the store with rifles Ferguson stole from his father, and murdered Philbert and shot the store’s other clerk, Michael Clark, 13 times. Clark survived the ordeal.
According to the Register’s story, Ferguson was released from the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, Calif. on July 18, this after being sentenced 15 years to life in prison after being convicted of second-degree murder in 1983. The Register's story attributed a quote to Napa County District Attorney Gary Lieberstein, who said Ferguson is not allowed to enter Napa County without the permission of his parole officer.
Here’s a question for the readers of Napa Patch. Should Ferguson, who was originally granted parole last year and fought for it until last week, have been released? What do you think? Tell us in the comments and vote in our poll!