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Napa County District Attorney Gary Lieberstein announced Monday that John Lewis Duncan, a 52-year-old former Napa State Hospital patient, was denied parole for murdering a fellow patient in 1985.

Duncan, who was also convicted of the attempted rape of a second female patient, had a parole hearing June 26 before the Board of Prison Terms at Solano Prison in Vacaville. He won’t be eligible to apply again for parole for seven years, according to the DA’s news release.

Duncan was convicted of the 1985 murder of Marilyn Conners and an assault with intent to commit rape of Debbie Ridge.

On April 27, Conners’ body was found in a remote area having been beaten, raped, sodomized and strangled, the district attorney said. Two weeks prior to the murder, Ridge was sexually assaulted in a remote location by Duncan, who used a knife to commit his crime. The police investigation determined that Duncan was responsible.

Duncan pleaded no contest in 1986 to second-degree murder and assault with intent to commit rape. Judge W. Scott Snowden sentenced Duncan to 15 years to life in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Paul Gero appeared at the hearing and argued against Duncan’s release.

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Gero cited Duncan’s continued lack of remorse for the killing, his serious prior record, his refusal to upgrade vocationally and attend self-help programs, the disciplinary violations he has committed since being in prison, the danger he presented to the community should he be paroled, and his vague and unrealistic parole plans.

The Parole Board agreed and denied Duncan a release date until at least 2021.

“John Lewis Duncan still represents a serious danger to the public and I am very appreciative of the fact that the Parole Board issued a lengthy denial,” Lieberstein said. “The families of both victims can sleep a little better with the knowledge that Mr. Duncan remains in prison where he cannot again harm members of our community or any other for many years to come.“


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