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Released by: District Attorney
For Immediate Release

Man who Strangled Wife Denied Medical Parole

Santa Rosa, CA  –  February 19, 2020  –  District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced today that Dean Howard Eliason Jr., 72 years old of Santa Rosa, was denied medical parole last week by the California Board of Parole Hearings. Eliason was previously convicted of second degree murder for the killing of his wife, Virginia Caetano, and sentenced to prison for 16 years to life.

On July 24, 2013, Eliason strangled to death his wife of 40 years by placing a radio cord around her neck.  He called 911 after her death and reported to the dispatcher that he killed his wife with a radio cord.  When asked by the operator why he killed his wife, he responded that he suffered from depression, that she was making fun of him, and that he went into a rage. The victim suffered multiple injuries throughout her entire body that revealed a struggle had ensued, and that she had attempted to fight off Eliason. Forensic pathologist Dr. Kelly Arthur-Kenny, who examined the victim after her death, estimated that it took approximately 10 minutes for the victim to die.

Eliason was absent from the parole hearing, which was held at the California Health Care Facility, Stockton, and appeared through his attorney. After the hearing the Board of Parole Hearings agreed with the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office that Eliason did not meet the criteria for medical parole. It noted that medical parole is available for an inmate only under a very limited set of circumstances, and that because Eliason was able to perform the activities of basic daily living, he was not medically incapacitated. Finally, the Board determined that Eliason posed an unreasonable risk of harm to the community if he were to be released.

Eliason is next eligible for a parole hearing in 2027. Deputy District Attorney Robert Waner appeared at the hearing on behalf of the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office.


Contact Information

Brandon Gilbert
Media Coordinator
Office of the District Attorney
County of Sonoma
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Room 212 J
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
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