SANTA ANA, Calif. – The Board of Parole Hearings (Panel), California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation denied parole three years for an inmate convicted of the 1983 beating murder of a man who had offered him and his co-defendant a ride when they were hitchhiking. David Eugene Hayes, 53, is currently being held at the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi. Hayes was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of first degree murder. The first degree murder charge was later reduced to second degree murder over the People's objection and Hayes was sentenced to 17 years to life in state prison. This case was originally filed by then-Deputy District Attorney now current Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) Tony Rackauckas. Deputy District Attorney Jeoff Robinson handled the jury trial for this case.
OCDA Chief of Staff Susan Kang Schroeder appeared at the hearing today with the victim's brother to oppose Hayes' parole. Hayes will be eligible for his next parole hearing in 2019.
At today's hearing, the victim's brother spoke before the Panel and described how Hayes' actions devastated the entire family. His nephew has been in and out of jail, and he himself started using drugs at 15 years old shortly after the murder happened. He went on to share about how difficult this experience has been for his family especially during the holidays.
The inmate spoke before the Panel and again lied about not having taken drugs in the last 20 years. The inmate refused to admit that he used drugs despite using methamphetamine in 1993. In 2008, the inmate possessed drug paraphernalia. In 2012, Hayes admitted that he was using narcotics for six months prior to his prison violation and continued to abuse drugs for three more months following the violation.The Panel unanimously agreed that Hayes would pose an unreasonable risk to society because of his tumultuous social history, incarceration history, and antisocial behavior. While incarcerated, Hayes continued to engage in substance abuse and surrounded himself with dangerous individuals. While addressing the inmate, the Commissioner stated, “I question your credibility.” Hayes continued to make bad decisions after his relapse in 2012, continuing to abuse drugs and being predisposed to his previous mistakes.
1983 Murder of David MartinezAt approximately 11:00 p.m. on Dec. 29, 1983, then 21-year-old Hayes, who was on probation, and co-defendant, Robert Clark, were hitchhiking. Hayes and Clark attempted to get a ride from motorists on Beach Boulevard in Garden Grove when 34-year-old David Martinez pulled over his silver Mercury Caprice. Martinez offered Hayes and Clark a ride and drove them to his parents' home to get beer.
Hayes then organized a plan and convinced Clark to attack the victim. When the victim stopped his car to let Hayes and Clark out, Clark restrained Martinez while Hayes went into the home and returned to the vehicle with a nylon cord which he wrapped around the victim's wrists. Hayes and Clark then hit the victim repeatedly with their fists until he was unconscious. Hayes took $37 out of the victim's pockets and drove the victim's car to an orange grove several miles away. Hayes and Clark left the victim lying face down near a tree and drove the car to a gas station. Hayes continued to drive the vehicle for two weeks before a California Highway Patrol officer initiated a routine traffic stop in Indio, and Hayes fled from the officer on foot.
On March 2, 1984, Hayes was arrested for burglarizing a closed market in Riverside, and after posting bail, failed to appear for a scheduled court hearing. Hayes subsequently fled and was arrested driving a different stolen vehicle in Dekalb, Illinois.
In impact statements given at Hayes sentencing, Martinez's wife talked about how deeply her husband's murder had affected their young daughter. The victim's father talked about how the death of his son had been traumatic for their entire family and Martinez's mother advocated that Hayes should never be released from custody and that the murder of her son caused her to live in fear, lose a great deal of sleep, and remain constantly upset.
Threat to Public Safety, Lack of Insight, and Failure to Accept ResponsibilitySince his incarceration, Hayes has accrued seven serious prison rule violations, including refusing a direct order, unauthorized use of a credit card number, possession or use of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and threats against another inmate. Hayes was convicted and sentenced to an additional three years in custody in for running a sophisticated credit card fraud scheme from inside the prison.
Hayes has consistently demonstrated that he has not taken personal responsibility for the crime, and attempts to deflect blame by naming his codefendant and drugs as the reason for the crime, and the victim's daughter's impact statement for relapses in the inmate's substance abuse while incarcerated. The Panel found in 2014 that Hayes “hadn't developed necessary skill sets and coping mechanisms necessary” to avoid recidivism if released from custody, and that he has failed to gain insight as to the causative factors of his substance abuse.
The violent nature of the inmate's crime, failure to accept responsibility for his role in the crime, continued engagement in using controlled substances while in custody, and inability to follow rules while in a structured prison environment demonstrate that Hayes poses a significant danger to the community and therefore, will not be released.
Orange County District Attorney / April 26, 2016