Violent California parolee released early. Hours later, he was arrested for murder.

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REDDING, CA – Within hours of his early release from jail due to overcrowding, a parolee with a lengthy and violent history was arrested Sunday on suspicion of murder.

According to the Redding Police Department, James Joshua Noyes, 33, was arrested Saturday, Oct. 3, after a domestic violence incident.  He was booked into the Shasta County jail on charges of “possession of methamphetamine for sales, drug paraphernalia and a parole violation.”

Within five hours of his arrest, Noyes was released from jail. 

The RPD describes the early release as necessary:

“[D]ue to the multiple issues facing the Shasta County Jail with prisoner overcrowding and California Department of Corrections not transporting multiple sentenced inmates taking up jail bed space.”

Within “a matter of hours,” Noyes was involved in a shooting incident in Redding, police said.

Officers were called about 3 a.m. Sunday to the scene of a shooting at a convenience store, where they encountered a gunshot victim.  After responders rendered immediate medical aid, the unidentified victim was transported to a local hospital, where he later died of his injuries.

Witnesses told officers that the suspect fled in his vehicle before the officers’ arrival. Redding PD investigators examined surveillance footage and identified Noyes as the suspect in the shooting after recognizing him from his arrest the previous day.

After obtaining a warrant for Noyes for “homicide and felon in possession of a firearm,” officers searching for Noyes located him and attempted a traffic stop. 

Noyes did not comply and he led police on a chase, reaching speeds of nearly 100 miles per hour.  During the chase, he spun out at an exit and ran into a fence.

Still refusing to comply with police instructions, Noyes attempted to flee on foot, running in front of a police vehicle in the process.  Even after being struck by the vehicle, he did not obey officers’ lawful commands.  Eventually, Noyes was apprehended with the assistance of Redding Police K9 Otto.

After being treated and released at a local hospital, Noyes was booked back into Shasta County Jail on charges of “homicide, felon in possession of a firearm, felony evading, resisting, and a parole violation.”  Bail was set at $1,000,000.

Noyes’ criminal history, according to the Redding Police Department, includes:

“. . . a variety of arrests and prior convictions for possession of narcotics, theft related offenses, domestic violence related offenses, driving under the influence, resisting arrest and unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon.”

While serving a prison sentence beginning in 2017 for burglary, Noyes caused serious bodily injury to another inmate.  He was released from prison in February 2020 and has been on parole for battery on his fellow inmate.

The Redding Police Department has requested that anyone with information on the homicide, contact Redding Police Investigations at 530-225-4200.

Shasta County Jail is no stranger to early prisoner releases due to overcrowding.

According to an inspection report crafted by the 2019-2020 Shasta County Grand Jury, the jail operates “at capacity on a daily basis,” resulting in a “continual need to release individuals from the facility,” which was described as “old, aging.”

The report also states that such a need has “given an impression to the public that the jail has a ‘revolving door’ policy.”

In addition, the inspection also notes that the jail is plagued with “low morale,” “chronic understaffing” and “lack of appropriate supervision for the staff.”

The report goes on to point the finger at California’s AB 109, Proposition 47, and Proposition 57.  Those measures, it says, mean that:

“. . . the burden of housing and monitoring those who would have ordinarily been sent to state prisons, shifted back to the county.”

The inspection report adds:

“Although it is the Sheriff’s Office which operates the jail facility, public comments seem to indicate many citizens do not realize that early releases of those incarcerated at the jail are not the result of a policy created unilaterally by the Sherriff’s Office itself, but are instead the result of efforts to comply with the laws governing the jail, including the state’s AB109, Prop 47 and Prop 57 laws. “

The grand jury report goes on to say that early release has brought “empowerment” to criminals who find “the accountability aspect of breaking a law, less and less stringent.”

It continues:

“This mindset of being able to ‘get out of jail free’ creates an atmosphere of fear and frustration within the community and leaves law enforcement dealing with the same criminals, committing the same crimes, on a daily basis.”

The grand jury notes in its conclusion that:

“. . . it is apparent that the issues at the jail are well known, well documented and in need of immediate attention to better serve the safety and security of not just the inmates and correctional staff but also the citizens of Shasta County.”

California’s Proposition 20, which will be a ballot issue this Nov. 3, seeks to improve upon Proposition 57 by creating new restrictions on early parole for some violators.  Such a measure may assist in reducing the heavy load experienced by Shasta County Jail.

In the meantime, sadly, residents of Redding have had to experience hard lessons on recidivism and the use of the so-called “get out of jail free” policy.

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Proposition 57 was approved by California voters in 2016.  Here is our earlier report on that:

LOS ANGELES, CA – Several law-enforcement officials are opposing Proposition 57, which would give “non-violent” convicted criminals lighter sentences and will relieve overcrowding in prisons. They believe it will put dangerous people back on the streets, so they gathered in downtown Los Angeles to convince the public to turn against it.

Brian Moriguchi, president of the Professional Peace Officers Association of Los Angeles, and other officials —including Sheriff Jim McDonnell, District Attorney Jackie Lacey and County Supervisor Mike Antonovich — said the proposition is essentially an effort by the state to relieve its prison-overcrowding problem at the expense of community safety, according to NBC 4 News.

In a Capital Public Radio News report, Gov. Jerry Brown said, “I think if anything, this is the greatest step we could take for public safety in California,” noting that nearly all inmates are eventually released from prison.

He explained:

“We want to make sure when they get out, they’ve gone through a real program of education and rehabilitation and to make that happen, you can’t force them, but you can incentivize them by the possibility of earlier parole.”

The proposition would grant parole for people convicted of “non-violent” felonies after they served the minimum amount of time required as part of their sentence and allow the awarding of sentence credits for rehabilitation, good behavior and education.

One problem, according to many working in law enforcement in California, is that the “minimum sentences” are getting ridiculously short. Crime pays because punishment has vanished and rehabilitation has not proven effective.

Brown and other proponents of the measure contend it will put an emphasis on rehabilitation. They also disagree that it will put violent offenders back on the streets, and even non-violent offenders eligible under the proposition would have to demonstrate they are reformed and do not present a threat to the public before they are released.

Moriguchi pointed out that the recent killings of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Owen and Palm Springs Police Officers Lesley Zerebny and Jose Gilbert Vega were crimes carried out by parolees.

These were concerns articulated in the Law Enforcement Today article, “It’s Raining Bullets on Cops in California,” as four officers were recently killed in the state, and another three narrowly escaped with their life; all within the past two weeks.

Antonovich said Proposition 57 will follow the path of legislation known as AB 109 (Realignment), which redirected some low-level offenders to county jails instead of state prisons, often leading to less time served. Shortly after Realignment, the state passed Proposition 47, which made life much easier on career criminals. Both issues continue to cause frustrations for cops in the state.

He said that legislation was also expected to apply to only “non-violent” offenders. “What happened? Seventy percent are either high-risk or very high-risk,” Antonovich said.

Proponents of the measure deny allegations that the measure would result in felons being automatically released from prison or authorize parole for violent offenders.

“Overcrowded and unconstitutional conditions led the U.S. Supreme Court to order the state to lessen its prison population,” Brown and other supporters wrote in its ballot argument in favor of the measure. “Now, without a common-sense, long-term solution, we will continue to waste billions and risk a court-ordered release of dangerous prisoners. This is an unacceptable outcome that puts Californians in danger, and this is why we need Prop 57.”

But for Antonovich, it is risky.

He stressed:

“It’s time that we wake up and get realistic. We need to protect our communities, we need to protect our people . . . We need to unite to return this state to a Golden State where it’s safe to walk the streets instead of having fear where people in the community are now having to buy private security to supplement the local law enforcement to protect their property and protect their lives and families.”

 

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