Bill Handel

Bill Handel

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Orange County Triple Murderer Granted 'Compassionate Release'

A former attorney and co-founder of the Hessian Motorcycle Club in Orange County who has been in prison for almost 40 years for a triple murder, will be released within 48 hours after he was granted release under California's compassionate release laws after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Thomas F. Maniscalco, 78, was serving a 46-year to life sentence after he was convicted in 1994 shooting deaths of fellow biker Richard Rizzone, 36 and his bodyguard Thomas Monahan, 28. He was also convicted of the rape, torture and murder of Rena Miley, 19, the daughter of a Los Alamitos Police officer.

Maniscalco denied any role in the murders.

Orange County DA Todd Spitzer is NOT happy about the release. He said:

"Where is the compassion for the victims? He has taken no responsibility for the lives he destroyed and soon he will be a free man with nothing to lose. At every turn, the California state Legislature and Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has continued to show sympathy and concern for the murderer, but turned a blind eye to the murdered and their loved ones.
Maniscalco didn't care about the pain and suffering of his victims as they took their last breaths and yet we are suppose to unleash a violent sociopath back into society so he can live out his final days out of custody.
State law handcuffs judges from exercising their discretion to keep sadistic murders like him behind bars where he belongs and that has to change."

According to the compassionate release law, judges are prohibited from considering the heinousness of the crime for which the prisoner is serving time and limit judges to considering only the prisoner's current mental and physical condition.

To prevent a compassionate release, prosecutors must persuade a judge that the prisoner will likely commit a "super strike," the most serious strikes under California law: murder, mayhem or a sexually violent offense.

At his sentencing in 1994, an Orange County Superior Court Judge testified that Maniscalco was "an extremely dangerous sociopath" and said she did not believe that he would "ever cease to present a danger to society if he is released at an advance age."

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer will join Bill Handel at 7am this morning to talk about Maniscalco's release.

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