Tulare woman denied parole after murdering husband

June Gravlee has been serving a life sentence since she was found guilty of murder in 1990, has yet to be approved for parole

TULARE COUNTY – After 33 years, a Tulare woman was yet again denied parole after murdering her husband for financial gain.

At a virtual hearing on March 14, Tulare County District Attorney prosecutors secured a three-year denial of parole for June Gravlee, 68, for the 1987 murder of her husband. Gravlee is currently serving a life sentence at the California Institution for Women in Corona.

In 1990, Gravlee was convicted of first-degree murder with the special circumstance of murder for financial gain. In the penalty phase of the trial, the Tulare County jury recommended a death sentence. However, the trial judge at the time modified the verdict to a penalty of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Her sentence was again modified in 2018 when former Gov. Jerry Brown reduced her sentence, making her eligible for parole.

Gravlee and her husband, Andrew Gravlee, were married in October of 1986. At the time of the marriage, Andrew was 35 years her senior. On July 17, 1987, at their home in Tulare, June and her brother Gary Smith stabbed and beat Andrew, killing him. The pair wrapped his body in a tarp and drove him in his pickup to a ravine in the hills near Kettleman City, where they buried him. For the next few months, June collected her husband’s pension and social security checks, and even applied for additional benefits. She explained her husband’s absence by telling people he had left town suddenly.

In late 1987, Andrew’s family became suspicious that they had not heard from him. Tulare Police Department officers began an official investigation in 1988 and questioned Gravlee, who eventually told officers that it was her brother who killed her husband. On June 14, 1989, Andrew’s body was discovered with stab wounds to the back and chest.

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