Detective's killer denied parole

SANTA ANA — A man convicted of murdering an off-duty Huntington Beach Police officer while driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs was denied parole Wednesday.

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 alcohol abuse and poses a risk of violence and danger to society," according to a release by the Orange County district attorney's office.

In December 1988, Gonzales, of Costa Mesa, was convicted of murdering 44-year-old Huntington Beach Police Det. Christopher Spurney. Gonzales was sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison.

Spurney's daughter asked the Board of Parole not to release Gonzales due to 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 murdering 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 D.A.

—Anthony Clark Carpio

Twitter: @acocarpio

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