Juan Corona, convicted of hacking to death 25 migrant farm workers nearly two decades ago, plans to admit the grisly crimes for the first time next week before the state parole board, his lawyer said Wednesday.
“He indicated that he is going to be willing to talk about it,” said Don Condren, who will represent Corona at his parole hearing next Wednesday. “At least he was when I spoke with him three weeks ago.
“I don’t think I should elaborate on the hints he made (about the crime),” the attorney added from his Carmel Valley home. “He might renege on that. I told him to think about it a lot and prepare what he wanted to say.”
Corona, 56, is facing his third bid for freedom. The former farm labor contractor was first convicted in 1973 of one of the worst mass murders in U.S. history. He had been arrested two years earlier after nine hacked and stabbed bodies were found in an orchard on the banks of the Feather River near Yuba City.
Sheriff’s deputies eventually unearthed 25 corpses in clusters of graves on surrounding ranchland.
In the past, the parole board has admonished Corona for not speaking on his own behalf at the hearings. This time, Corona is prepared to speak through an interpreter, Condren said.
It would be the first time Corona has admitted guilt about the crimes to state officials.