On Sept. 1, the Madera County District Attorney’s Office filed an opposition to the pending parole release of Alice Waterman, age 50, from the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla.
Waterman was convicted in May 2014 of six counts of arson and one count of conspiracy, and sentenced to 10 years and 8 months in prison for her part in setting dozens of fires in the Yosemite Lakes Park area in May and June of 2013.
The Madera County District Attorney’s Office was notified through a letter and email from the Board of Parole Hearings that Waterman’s parole was denied earlier this week. The reason given, as was argued in District Attorney David Linn’s opposition to parole, is that her release would result in an unreasonable risk of danger to the community.
Parole was denied for her co-defendant and husband, Kenneth Jackson, on Aug. 18, after dozens of citizens submitted their objections to his release, which were included in a letter from the D.A.’s office to the Board of Parole Hearings. The Board found that Jackson would pose an unreasonable risk to the community and denied his release also.
In his opposition to Waterman’s release, Linn argued that arson and wildfire were equivalent to assault with a deadly weapon and should not be granted under Proposition 57.
“With the prior parole denial of Kenneth Jackson and now Ms. Waterman’s denial, we are assured that they will not be released for parole this year, and hopefully not in future years.”
Linn says the only remaining risk is if their appeal currently before the California 5th District Court of Appeal in Fresno is granted.
“That would reverse their convictions, and I am doing everything I can to prevent the granting of the appeal,” said Linn. “In fact I met with an appeals attorney from the California Attorney General’s Office yesterday, and am hopeful that we will win.”
Jackson and Waterman were convicted of what were considered “non-violent” and “non-serious” felonies. Proposition 57 allows them to apply to parole release after serving the base term on their primary conviction.