San Francisco

Bay Area Family Requesting Governor Newsom Keep Convicted Killer in Prison

A widow on the Peninsula is calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to keep a convicted killer in prison.

Timothy Wilson was convicted by a jury and sentenced by a judge to 15 years to life in prison. A parole panel on Thursday decided to release Wilson after he served a quarter century behind bars for beating a Bay Area father to death in the 1990s.

"I don't want anyone else to go through what we've been through," said Carol O'Friel. It was her husband, John O'Friel, who Wilson is convicted of murdering.

John O'Friel, a software salesman, was murdered in Davis during the summer of 1993. Wilson at the time was 23 years old and a San Francisco resident.

"When he murdered John, he had what I called dead eyes," said Carol O'Friel, who now lives in San Bruno.

Prosecutors said Wilson claimed John O'Friel made sexual advances toward him. Wilson said that triggered his violent response because he had been sexually abused as a child.

Over the years, Carol O'Friel has sat in on Wilson's parole hearings.

"I prayed beforehand. Let me listen with open ears. Let me see if I can really think he can change," she said.

On Wilson's third try, the parole board decided at 46 years old, he is no longer a danger to society. The O'Friel family does not agree.

"I don't want somebody to come to me and say why didn't you stop this man?" Carol O'Friel said.

The family has sent letters to Gov. Newsom, asking him to put a stop to Wilson's release. If the governor does not step in, the chief deputy district attorney for Yolo County predicts Wilson could get out by early 2020.

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