Wednesday, 12 June 2024

Man convicted of 1990 attempted murder denied parole

LAKE COUNTY – A man who tried to kill his girlfriend 20 years ago was denied parole once again in a hearing that took place this past week.

Richard Dowdle, 55, was once again denied parole by the Board of Prison Terms, which held his parole hearing on Tuesday, May 11, at Corcoran State Prison.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff attended the parole hearing to argue against Dowdle’s release. It was the sixth parole hearing for Dowdle Hinchcliff has attended.

Dowdle was sentenced to life plus five years in August of 1990 for the attempted murder of his girlfriend at the time, according to Hinchcliff. Dowdle was sentenced by Judge Robert L. Crone and prosecuted by current Superior Court Judge Richard C. Martin. He initially became eligible for parole in May of 2000.

On January 17, 1990, Dowdle was released from the Hill Road Jail in Lakeport after serving jail time on a domestic violence offense against the same victim, according to the investigation.

Dowdle and the victim returned to their residence on Emerald Drive in Kelseyville that day, and Dowdle discovered that the victim had moved her 17-year-old son and a friend of his into the residence to help pay rent.

Dowdle, who worked in The Geysers steamfield as a driller, and who was a cross-dresser, was upset that there were “intruders” in the house. He stated that being a “roughneck” he would be too embarrassed to wear female clothing in front of the “intruders.”

He became angry and confronted his girlfriend while she was in the bedroom with their 11-month-old baby daughter. Dowdle punched the woman in the face, causing a fracture. He then went into the kitchen, retrieved a butcher knife, returned to the bedroom and stabbed the victim several times in the shoulder and abdomen.

When deputy sheriff’s arrived and entered the residence, they found that Dowdle had used the knife to cut his own throat and disembowel himself. Despite her injuries, the girlfriend survived.

At Dowdle's previous parole hearings, the Board of Parole Hearing Commissioners had denied parole but gave new parole hearing dates every two years.

Dowdle had been told numerous times by counselors, commissioners and psychiatrists that he needed to attend Alcoholics Anonymous classes to address alcohol issues and take domestic violence and anger management classes to address his domestic violence problems. However, he has not participated in the programs he has been told to participate in.

The parole commissioners agreed with Hinchcliff that it was clear Dowdle still presents a substantial risk of danger to women if he were released and he is unlikely to participate in the counseling he needs to get paroled.

They also concluded there was no point in continuing to set parole hearings every two years, which puts the victim through the ordeal of having to attend those hearings every two years.

The commissioners denied parole this time for 10 years, and his next hearing will be in 2020, Hinchcliff said.

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