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Name: In re Shippman
Case #: A125182
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/08/2010

The Parole Board denial of parole to an inmate serving an indeterminate life sentence was based on some evidence that he remains an unreasonable risk to public safety. Shippman was convicted of second degree murder for the killing of his third wife in 1993 and sentenced to 15 years to life, plus four years for a firearm enhancement. His minimum parole eligibility date was August 15, 2005. His first parole hearing resulted in a denial in 2004, and the first subsequent hearing resulted in a denial in 2008. A habeas petition as to that denial challenged the determination which relied on the aggravated nature of the commitment offense in which he lured his estranged wife into his vehicle on false pretenses and then shot her twice in the chest and once in the back of the head; his lack of insight into the offense’s causative factors with his explanation that he was controlling because he had a controlling father; his unstable social history with respect to a pattern of control issues with his romantic partners; and his marginal parole plans. The record as a whole showed that there was denial or minimization of controlling or abusive incidents which supported an inference that he remains a threat to public safety. The board was entitled to discount the two recent psychological evaluations because they had no reference to the controlling behavior or that petitioner had opened up about the true nature of his behaviors.