Exeter killer denied parole for 3 years

Cesar Navarro stabbed his wife with a screwdriver; buried her alive in their backyard in 1998 murder


SALINAS – An Exeter man who stabbed his wife and then buried her alive in his backyard will not be released from prison.

On Sept. 11, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office, along with representatives of the Elizabeth Ann Navarro’s family, attended a scheduled parole hearing at Salinas Valley State Prison for Cesar Navarro, 42, for the 1998 murder of his wife. The Office of the District Attorney was prepared to argue for the maximum denial of 15 years. According to representatives of the parole board, a three-year stipulation denial was agreed to with Navarro and no formal hearing was conducted.

“While we certainly agree that denial of parole was appropriate in this case, I am disappointed that the office could not stand alongside this family and argue for a lengthy denial. It is my commitment that we will continue to attend and give voice to victims and their families at these hearings,” said District Attorney Tim Ward.

On Dec. 16, 1998, Navarro stabbed his wife, 20-year-old Elizabeth Ann Navarro, multiple times in the head and neck with a screwdriver. Knowing that his wife was still alive after the attack, he buried her in the backyard of their Exeter home. Her body was found two weeks later after family members filed a missing persons report and had been searching for her. At his initial parole hearing in 2014, Navarro said he committed the crime due to perceived infidelity. Elizabeth’s family said that she would often talk about Navarro’s violent behavior toward her. Navarro was convicted of her murder in 2000 and sentenced to life in prison. Navarro was convicted of domestic violence a few months prior to the murder.

This was scheduled to be Navarro’s second parole hearing.

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