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Judge orders release of convicted juvenile murderer 

Under California law, a juvenile may only be incarcerated until 25th birthday


Roberto Roman Holguin was 13 at the time of the offense. Photo from Murderpedia.

–The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office has announced that Superior Court Judge Linda Hurst has ordered the release of convicted juvenile murderer Roberto Roman Holguin, now 24, at the conclusion of today’s Reentry Disposition Hearing.

On March 14, 2016, the Juvenile Parole Board had granted Holguin’s early discharge from the Division of Juvenile Justice and returned Holguin to the jurisdiction of the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court. Holguin has remained in custody at the Division of Juvenile Justice since his conviction of first degree murder in 2006.

On February 17, 2006, Holguin, a resident of San Luis Obispo, was found to have committed murder in the first degree, residential burglary, robbery, elder abuse and vehicle theft. The victim was 87-year-old Gerald O’Malley. Holguin was tried as a juvenile because his age at the time of the offense, 13, precluded him from being tried as an adult. Holguin was sentenced by the Juvenile Court Judge to 42 years to life, however, due to his age, the potential confinement for his crimes totaled approximately 12 years. Under California law, a juvenile may only be incarcerated for a juvenile crime until his 25th birthday.

Governor Brown has twice reversed the Juvenile Parole Board’s earlier decisions to grant Holguin early discharge from custody, once in 2014 and again in 2015. This time, Governor Brown declined to exercise his authority to reverse the decision for early release. Holguin could have remained in custody for approximately eight additional months.

With this decision, Holguin will be escorted by San Luis Obispo County Probation officials to the State of Texas where he will live with a family member. Holguin will remain under the supervision of Texas authorities until his 25th birthday on December 15, 2016. It is hoped that this period of supervision will assist Holguin in his transition to independent adult life after having been in-custody since he was thirteen years of age.

“The District Attorney’s Office has done everything we could do from the very beginning in this very disturbing murder case,” said District Attorney Dan Dow.  “Mr. Holguin was convicted of first-degree murder and then sentenced to the maximum amount of custody that California law allows for a thirteen year old defendant. It is our hope that Mr. Holguin is remorseful for his brutal acts, that he fully appreciates his new freedom, and that he will commit himself to living a productive and crime-free life.”

This case was originally investigated by the San Luis Obispo Police Department and prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Andy Baird.


About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at