Sunday, 25 February 2024

Man convicted of attempted murder denied parole for fifth time

LAKE COUNTY – A man convicted 18 years ago of attempting to murder his girlfriend was denied parole for the fifth time this week.


Richard Dowdle, 53, was once again denied parole by the Board of Prison Terms, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff, who attended the parole hearing to argue against Dowdle’s release.


The parole hearing was held on June 2 at Corcoran State Prison, located 240 miles southeast of Sacramento.


In August 1990 Judge Robert C. Crone sentenced Dowdle to life plus five years for the attempted murder of his girlfriend, Hinchcliff said. Current Superior Court Judge Richard Martin was the deputy district attorney who prosecuted Dowdle.


In January 1990, Dowdle was released from the Hill Road Jail in Lakeport after serving time on a domestic violence offense against his girlfriend, according to Hinchcliff.


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


Hinchcliff said Dowdle, who worked in The Geysers steam field as a driller and 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.”


Dowdle became angry and confronted the victim while she was in the bedroom with their baby daughter, and punched her, Hinchcliff explained. Dowdle then went into the kitchen, retrieved a butcher knife, and stabbed his girlfriend several times in the shoulder and abdomen. Her son helped her escape from the house.


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, according to Hinchcliff.


Hinchcliff said Dowdle initially became eligible for parole in May of 2000.


This was Dowdle’s fifth parole hearing since 1998, said Hinchcliff, who also attended the previous hearings to argue against parole.


Although Dowdle has obtained his GED and remained disciplinary free in prison, and may some day be granted parole, the parole commissioners agreed with Hinchcliff that Dowdle had not done enough in prison to address his alcohol abuse problem, his anger control problems or his psychiatric problems. They also found he had no concrete parole plans if he were released, and he still presents a substantial risk of danger to women if released from prison.


Hinchcliff said Dowdle's next parole hearing will take place in two years.


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