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Released by: District Attorney
For Immediate Release

Dangerous Gang Member Denied Early Parole

Santa Rosa, CA  –  July 30, 2018  –  District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced today that defendant Michael Valentine Nichelini, 33, of Petaluma, CA, was denied early parole at his “Youth Offender Parole Hearing,” held pursuant to Senate Bill No. 261 (“SB 261”). The Parole Board denied the early parole for a term of 3 years.

Mr. Nichelini was convicted of Attempted Second Degree Murder of one victim and Assault with a Firearm on a second victim. He also admitted enhancements for the crimes being committed in furtherance of his gang and having personally used a firearm.

His convictions stem from an incident on January 3, 2003, when Mr. Nichelini and friends arrived at a house party they were not invited to. A dispute broke out between Mr. Nichelini’s group of friends and another group of young people because of past high school related issues. A physical altercation ensued between the two groups and Mr. Nichelini discharged 5 rounds in to the crowd, injuring two people.

Mr. Nichelini was sentenced to a determinate term of 23 years in state prison. While in prison, Mr. Nichelini extended his sentence by 4 years after being convicted of a separate crime, Prisoner in Possession of a Weapon, prosecuted by Sacramento County.

Pursuant to SB 216, the Board of Parole Hearings shall review parole suitability of “any prisoner who was under 23 years of age at the time of his or her controlling offense.” Mr. Nichelini was 18 at the time of the offense, and barring a grant of early parole, would not be granted parole until 2027. In denying early parole, the Board noted despite a period of good behavior in the facility, Mr. Nichelini’s lack of insight, recent relapse by using drugs and alcohol, and tendency to violence made him an unreasonable danger should be he returned to society at this time.

The hearing took place at High Desert Valley State Prison and was attended by Deputy District Attorney Jenica P. Leonard.


Contact Information

Joan Croft
Media Coordinator
Office of the District Attorney
County of Sonoma
Contact us by Phone
600 Administration Drive
Room 212 J
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
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