D.A. opposes parole for killer

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas issued a press release Thursday opposing the parole of a woman convicted of murdering her husband with the help of her boyfriend in 1984.

Jeanette Lynn Hughes, now 58, was convicted in 1986 of the first-degree murder of her husband, James Dilbert Hughes, 37, according to the release. Hughes, who stood to collect $442,000 from her husband's life insurance policy, was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison.

Her parole hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Friday at the Sacramento Central Office in Rancho Cordova. Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Chrisopoulos plans to be there in person to oppose parole. James Hughes' brother-in-law, nephew and niece will also be in attendance.

Jeanette Hughes' boyfriend, Adam Salas Ramirez, was also convicted of being an accomplice to the murder, as he slipped into the home with the help of his girlfriend before shooting James Hughes twice in the head with a rifle.

The Huntington Beach Police Department first responded to the incident after Jeanette Hughes falsely reported a robbery. Evidence collected by police later showed her husband had been suffocated prior to the gunshots.

Since being incarcerated, Hughes has reportedly attempted two prison escapes. Her first attempt to cut through her window bars was unsuccessful, after which she was placed under constant supervision. She later managed to slip out of the high-security California Institution for Women in Frontera on March 25, 1990, after convincing her correctional officer, Cindy Marie Coglietti, to help her. The two were eventually detained at El Paso International Airport in Texas.

The Rackauckas release stated, "Hughes' disciplinary history shows a high disregard for the law and emphasizes her lack of insight to the severity of the crime she committed. Any progress she has made does not outweigh the factors of unsuitability, time served, or the brutality of the commitment offense; therefore, parole should be denied."

—Andrew Shortall

Twitter: @TCNShortall

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