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Released by: District Attorney
For Immediate Release

Parole Denied In 2001 DUI Death

Santa Rosa, CA  –  October 9, 2015  –  District Attorney Jill Ravitch attended the parole hearing for Chirstopher Peter Kazas, 33, at Soledad State Prison on September 29, 2015.  Ravitch was the prosecutor at the jury trial in 2002, where a jury found Kazas guilty of trying to evade a CHP officer and murder.  In his effort to outrun the officer, Kazas ran a red light and broadsided a van driven by Michael Bireschi, and then fled the scene.  Bonita Bireschi was injured in the collision.  She attended the parole hearing along with her daughter.  The Parole Board found that Kazas continued to present an unreasonable risk to public safety and issued a five year denial.

District Attorney Ravitch noted that Kazas referred to the incident as an accident when he was sentenced, and denied he was a murderer.  At the parole hearing, while never facing the widow, Kazas acknowledged his role in the death and the pain he had inflicted upon so many.

Nonetheless Kazas’ conduct while incarcerated indicated to the board that he still lacked insight into the nature of his criminal behavior, and was unable to adhere to rules, regulations and laws.

Mrs. Bireschi was unable to address the board at the hearing, overcome by emotion after her daughter spoke of the wonderful man who had been killed, and of all who missed him, as well as all he missed as children were born and wed. 

“Chris Kazas committed a very selfish act when he chose to drink and drive on April 22, 2001,” said Ravitch.  “He knew from prior DUIs how dangerous his conduct was, but drove anyway and then tried to outrun a law enforcement officer, putting everyone on the road at risk.  His failure to take responsibility was echoed in his misconduct in prison, and his words to the parole board, suggesting he had served enough time for the damage he caused.  The parole board disagreed with his suggestion, and he will have five more years to think about what he did and who he will be when he is released.”

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Contact Information

Joe Langenbahn
Media Coordinator
Office of the District Attorney
County of Sonoma
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600 Administration Drive
Room 212 J
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.466524, -122.726273
 

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