‘Onion’ Killer Seeks Freedom Before Hearing

From Times Wire Services

Gregory Powell, who murdered a Los Angeles policeman in the 1963 “Onion Field” case, is seeking release on bail while the state Supreme Court considers his bid for parole.

The court revived Powell’s parole case in April, granting a hearing on his claim that the state Parole Board acted illegally in canceling his scheduled release in June, 1982. No hearing date has been set, and Powell remains in prison at Vacaville.

In papers filed last Friday and made public by the court this week, Powell’s lawyer, Dennis Riordan, said the court’s decision to grant a hearing also restored the legal effect of a Solano County Superior Court judge’s ruling in January, 1984, that the board had acted illegally.

Powell has “already suffered an irreparable injury that cannot be remedied,” Riordan wrote. “The 3 1/2 years of freedom of which he was improperly deprived cannot be returned to him.” He said Powell should be released into the same program for which he was found eligible before the board withdrew his parole date.


The board “continues to view Powell as a threat to public safety,” Deputy Atty. Gen. Dane Gillette said. “Until the issue is fully resolved, he ought to remain in prison.”