In 1980, David Weidert, buried alive and killed a 20-year-old developmentally disabled California man named Michael Morganti. This all took place because Weidert wanted to cover up a $500 burglary he committed. Weidert received a life sentence for his heinous acts, but this past week Governor Gavin Newsom took no action on the state parole board's latest decision, which grants parole to Weidert. This decision makes the 58-year-old eligible for release from prison.
Last year, Newsom blocked Weidert's parole and at the time said,
"[Weidert] currently poses an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison at this time.”
In 2016 and 2018, former Governor Jerry Brown reversed Weidbert's potential release.
13 months after Newsom blocked Weidbert's parole, he now accepted the findings of the Board of Parole Hearing's that determined that he does not pose a current risk to public safety. This is extremely concerning to many people with knowledge of the acts Weidbert committed in 1980.
Vikki Van Duyne, sister of Michael Morganti, discussed the Governor's decision,
“I didn’t think the governor would think that things had changed in 13 months from the time when he said no last time, because I didn’t see anything change,” ... “You do really bad things, we need to have a way to protect society and keep people in"
Vikki Van Duyne believes her brother's killer is still dangerous and will work to change the legal standards of parole.
John Cox, a candidate running to replace Newsom as Governor of California, has said that Newsom's latest decision "sickens me" and that “[Weidert] should never see the light of day again.”
Michael Morganti was serving as a lookout for Weidbert as he committed a burglary. Weidert, 17-years-old at the time, told law enforcement that he killed Morganti. Weidbert and an accomplice lured Morganti into a car, took him to an isolated area, and forced him to dig his own grave. The two would beat Morganti with a baseball bat and shovel, would stab him, and choked him with a telephone wire. Morganti would later suffocate after being buried alive.