Revealed: Former gang banger who paralyzed teen girl works for CA Dept. of Public Safety after early release

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Jarad Nava by is licensed under YouTube
SACRAMENTO, CA – A 28-year-old former gang member who served just under eight years on a 162-year sentence for a gang-related shooting that left a teenage girl paralyzed is now reportedly working at California’s state capitol on prison reform initiatives.

On September 29th of 2012, then-17-year-old Jarad Nava, along with fellow gang member Alex Sandoval, followed a vehicle in Pomona harboring four women, three of whom were teenagers, believed to either be girlfriends or relatives of a local rival gang.

According to court records, the women were at a stop light at the intersection of Glen and Orange Grove Avenue at approximately 10:50 p.m. when the truck Nava was riding passenger in pulled up to the stopped vehicle. One of the victims, identified as 25-year-old Jessila S., told police the suspect in the passenger seat of the truck, identified as Nava, “smiled” at her while pointing at gun and saying, “Bitch, you’re gonna die today.”

In the subsequent shooting, 15-year-old Marlene Marlyn was non-fatally shot in the leg and 16-year-old Yesenia Castro was shot in the back. The injury Castro sustained left her paralyzed from the waist down.

Following Nava’s arrest and trial, he was sentenced to 162-years in prison for four counts of attempted murder, amidst a litany of other charges and sentence enhancements, due to the deliberate nature of the offenses he committed.

Less than five years after the shooting, PBS released a documentary called “They Call Us Monsters,” which aimed to shed a positive light on offenders convicted of heinous crimes while they were juveniles, with Nava being one of the prisoners depicted in the documentary.

The aforementioned documentary clearly had an impact on viewers, and also drew attention to Nava’s case with the framing of the documentary suggesting he’d received a disproportionate sentence in relation to his crimes.

In March of 2020, not even a full eight years after the shooting that left a young woman paralyzed, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a commutation of Nava’s sentence, giving the then-24-year-old his freedom.

In Governor Newsom’s statement on Nava’s release, he claimed he “carefully considered and weighed the evidence of Mr. Nova's positive conduct in prison,” asserting that the attainment of a GED and various programming in prison affords a new lease on life for someone who attempted to murder four women merely seven and a half years earlier.

But an early prison release wasn’t the only thing in the cards for Nava, as the former gang banger is now working as an assistant in the state’s Department of Public Safety, spearheading the likes of prison reform initiatives while also enjoying the likes of photo ops alongside the state governor.

In light of Nava’s newly attained appointment at California’s state capitol, Governor Newsom boasted to the L.A. Times about how seeing Nava adorned in a slightly polished business casual getup brought him to tears, while additionally calling his sentencing that left a woman bound to a wheelchair for life “ridiculous.”

“I came back and started crying in the office. To read a report about somebody, to see a ridiculous overcharging, to consider his age in relationship to that crime, to take a risk on a commutation…and then to see him all dressed up, so proud that he has a job.”

Castro, Nava’s victim left paralyzed in the shooting, has said in previous interviews that she wanted her would-be killer to stay behind bars at a minimum of fifty years. However, California’s governor couldn’t be bothered to have Nava serve even a full eight years and has now welcomed the former gang member into the capitol with open arms.
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Comments

Stan

Doesn't matter that he is (if true) rehabilitated. The punishment must fit the nature and severity of the crime. 8 years DOES NOT.

Stephanie

Just another reason that Gavin Newsom isn't fit to be Governor of any state, much less President! I believe in second chances, but serving only 8 years for putting a young woman in a wheelchair, and almost killing her, is ludicrous. Can you imagine how, and if, he would punish terrorists as President?

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