Parole granted in 1975 double murder near Exeter

California parole commissioners find Henry Borbon suitable for parole after 45 years in prison for murders of Richard Gaither, Rosie Sanchez in 1975

TULARE COUNTY – Despite strong objections from prosecutors, California parole commissioners have found Henry Borbon, who played a significant part in the murder of two individuals near Exeter almost fifty years ago, suitable for parole.

This decision was handed down during a virtual hearing on June 25. Borbon, 87, has served over 45 years of a life sentence for murder and is currently incarcerated at the California Substance Abuse Facility in Corcoran.

The crime occurred on the afternoon of Feb. 28, 1975, when Borbon and co-defendant Joe Perez murdered victims Richard Gaither and Rosie Sanchez on Yokohl Drive near Exeter. The men drove the victims to this location in Perez’s car under the guise of a drug transaction. Borbon shot Gaither twice in the back of the head on the side of the road while Perez bludgeoned Sanchez, the mother of his children, with a hammer. When it was apparent that the blows were not fatal, Borbon stabbed Sanchez to death. Her body was discovered days later floating in the Kings River near Stratford.

Witnesses to events before and after the crime led to the men’s arrests. At trial, further witness testimony revealed that Perez, angered by Sanchez’s romantic relationship with Gaither, paid Borbon $1,000 to assist him with the murders.

In Nov. 1978, Borbon was convicted of two counts of murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. He was sentenced to life in prison. Co-defendant Perez was convicted of first-degree murder in Kern County and was sentenced to death in 1976. His death sentence was later commuted to life in prison.

This was Borbon’s 20th parole hearing. The Office of the District Attorney regularly attends life parole hearings and a deputy district attorney argued against the inmate’s release in this case.

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