A man convicted of murder in the killing of an off-duty Huntington Beach police officer while driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs was denied parole last week.
The Board of Parole Hearings denied Richard Gonzales, 63, a three-year parole after recommending he continue receiving self-help, as he "poses a risk of returning to his drug and
In December 1988, Gonzales, of Costa Mesa, was convicted of killing Huntington Beach Police Det. Christopher Spurney, 44. Gonzales was sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison.
Spurney's daughter asked the Board of Parole not to release Gonzales because of his "lack of insight into the crime and his substance abuse problems," according to the statement.
Gonzales was thrice convicted of driving under the influence before killing Spurney, the D.A. said. Gonzales also was arrested in San Diego for drinking in public while out on bail as he awaited trial for the murder.
On the evening of June 10, 1987, Gonzales crossed a center median and slammed head-on into a vehicle driven by Spurney, who was heading south on the 405 Freeway near Sand Canyon Avenue. Paramedics determined that Spurney died from the impact of the crash.
A few hours before the incident, Gonzales was reported to have consumed "at least six cans of beer, snorted cocaine and smoked marijuana" at a friend's house celebrating a birthday party, according to the district attorney.