After serving a little more than 25 years of a life sentence in state prison, parole may be ahead for Octavio Godinez Valdiosera Sr. He was convicted in 1990 of the kidnapping for ransom of a 16-year-old student at Woodside High School.
At his 12th hearing before the Board of Parole, a two-person panel found him suitable for release, saying that he is "not an unreasonable risk of danger to the public," according to a report by San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
The decision now goes to the office of Gov. Jerry Brown for review, prosecutors said. Mr. Valdiosera is currently in the California State Prison at Solano in Vacaville.
Mr. Valdiosera kidnapped the Woodside student in March 1990 and took him to Los Angeles, where he was kept in handcuffs at gunpoint for two weeks, prosecutors said.
Mr. Valdiosera demanded $100,000 in ransom from the student's father, allegedly to pay off a debt to the Medellin drug cartel, prosecutors said.
His life sentence, handed down by a San Mateo County judge in January 1991, included the possibility of parole. Inmates are released to the county in which they were convicted.
Asked to comment, Mr. Wagstaffe said in an email that his office "believed the defendant remains an undue risk of danger to the community if released."
"But," he added, "even though we did not agree with it, the decision of the parole board was a reasonable one under all the circumstances."
The Almanac was unable to reach an attorney who could speak for Mr. Valdiosera.