Parole denied for CMC prisoner responsible for 1984 Fresno killing

The Fresno BeeOctober 29, 2009 

Parole was denied Tuesday for a Fresno man who went to a co-worker’s home, killed him, and then cut out his heart and kept it in his pocket. Theodore Allen LeLeaux Jr., who is serving 16 years to life in prison for killing 25-year-old Kenneth Carlock in 1984, asked for his freedom during a 5 1/2-hour hearing inside the California Men’s Colony, San Luis Obispo.

The parole board rejected LeLeaux’s bid and told him to try again in three years, said attorney T. Worthington Vogel of the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office.

During the hearing, LeLeaux didn’t explain why he stabbed Carlock 77 times and cut out his heart, Vogel said. He did say he was under the influence of drugs. That, Vogel said, wasn’t sufficient to explain "his bizarre behavior."

Gayle McCracken of Fresno, sister of the victim, also attended Tuesday’s hearing. She said, "The board saw through his lies."

LeLeaux was granted parole last year, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger blocked his release. This time, LeLeaux, 48, was counting on a California Supreme Court ruling in August 2008 that set a new standard for determining whether to grant parole. Now the heinousness of the crime is not enough to deny parole; "current danger" to the community also must be considered.

But until LeLeaux "digs deeper" and explains why he did it, he will remain a threat to society, Vogel said Tuesday.

LeLeaux has had at least eight parole hearings since he went to prison.

He pleaded guilty in March 1985 in Fresno County Superior Court to second-degree murder. At his sentencing, he said, "All I can say is that what happened was an accident, and that I thank God I cannot remember the details."

Fresno police say LeLeaux and Carlock worked for the same courier service. On June 5, 1984, Carlock’s mutilated body was discovered inside his North Marks Avenue apartment. Detectives found signs of a struggle inside the apartment, as well as LeLeaux’s pager, bloody work shirt and shoes, court records show.

Investigators learned that LeLeaux had driven away in a company van and abandoned it, leaving his bloody socks nearby. The day after the attack, LeLeaux, then 23, was arrested in Madera on suspicion of burglary. Carlock’s heart was discovered in his jacket pocket, police said.

According to McCracken, LeLeaux told the parole board Tuesday that he suffered from a psychotic breakdown when he killed her brother. But McCracken said she asked the board to consider this: If he were having a meltdown, then how was he able to drive from the crime scene?

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