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“It’s a revolving door”: Prosecutors say suspect in killing, dismembering of Sacramento woman should not have been released from jail

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Prosecutors said it’s a tragic case of an early prison release, that resulted in the brutal murder of a 77-year-old Sacramento woman.

District attorneys described Darnell Erby as a career criminal, dating back to 1999. Since then, he has been committed and convicted of several felonies and released early for those crimes.

A state assemblyman said he is fed up with the system and that change has to come from the people.

“It’s been a revolving door. Let’s think about the murders of Emma Roark and Kate Tibbits. It’s the same thing. Now, a third one, just here in Sacramento. And that’s very troubling,” Jim Cooper, Assemblyman and Sacramento Sheriff-Elect, said.

Erby is accused of killing and dismembering 77-year-old Pamela May, inside her North Highlands home. He was out on parole early.
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Erby was given a combined sentence from both Amador and Placer counties for crimes including using a false ID, forgery and first-degree burglary for a total time of 12 years in 2017.

He was known as a “second striker”, meaning he had previous convictions for other serious crimes.

However, Erby was discharged for time served and released from parole supervision last year. 

“It’s at the state level, and really a soft on crime issue. With this individual, a revolving door, you go to prison, get out very quickly. And these folks know that. And there’s a problem with that. They commit crimes and there’s no accountability.”

As word spread about the brutal death of Pamela May, those who have prosecuted Erby were appalled. 

“Shock that’s the first thing that hits. And then frustration and anger,” Todd Riebe, Amador County District Todd Rieb Attorney, said.

Riebe opposed Erby’s early parole in 2017 and wrote a letter to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

“This is a man that he’s only been free of incarceration for five to six years over the last 20. And during that period of time, he manages to commit eight new felonies. And is arrested 20 times,” Riebe said.

Riebe said, while Erby was in custody, he didn’t address his substance abuse or do any type of rehabilitation programs for his crimes. 
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Placer County District Attorney Morgan Gire also wrote a letter to the CDCR opposing Erby’s early release.

“The Department of Correction and Rehabilitation’s haste to release violent inmates is directly placing the community in danger. They’re rapidly trying to release people and seemingly without any care,” Gire said.

For the past several years, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, has also authored letters in opposition to early release.

“Very, very serious consequences are occurring when you let people out early that are not rehabilitated,” Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said.

She said to slow down the revolving prison door more rehab and more accountability is necessary. She believes the state is missing on both factors, which is dangerous for public safety.

This story appeared on Fox 40 News

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