A man convicted of a 1978 Capitola murder was denied parole for the eleventh time at a health care facility in Stockton. Richard Ornellas was convicted of Santina Pawsey’s murder.
On July 25, 1978. Ornellas went to Pawsey’s house in Capitola. The District Attorney’s Office said he was an acquaintance of the victim’s. After he arrived, there was an argument, and he bound, strangled and beat Pawsey to death with his bare hands.Ornellas was convicted of her murder in March the following year and sentenced to life in prison.
One month before the murder, Ornellas had been discharged from parole in San Mateo County. Investigators said he had an extensive criminal history that included assaulting woman and sexually assaulting a minor. He was diagnosed as a sexual psychopath.
The District Attorney’s Office said that since he was incarcerated, Ornellas has showed violent behavior toward other inmates and prison employees.
“Mr. Ornellas continues to show violent and aggressive behavior to those around him and his release would jeopardize the safety of the public. The Board has made the correct and proper decision in denying his parole,” said Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeffrey S. Rosell. “My office fully concurs with the Board’s decision to keep this dangerous man behind bars where he cannot terrorize the members, especially women, of our communities. While the victim’s family still mourns and grieves the loss of their loved one, we hope they can find solace in knowing that justice continues to be served and the defendant will continue to be held accountable for his heinous actions.”