Calif. -- It's a murder that made headlines for the past decade and inspired the
Hollywood movie "Alpha Dog".
Now, more than 13 years later,
Governor Jerry Brown has delayed the release of inmate, Jesse Rugge, convicted
in the kidnapping and murder of Nicholas Markowitz in the Santa Barbara
Nick's mother, Susan Markowitz
says she was so grateful when she got the letter from Governor Brown because it
showed he took the time to study her son's murder and make sure those
responsible stayed behind bars.
"It makes me want to cry," says
Susan Markowitz. "This is the absolute worst that anyone could ever come up
with. How can you follow through with a murder?"
Susan Markowitz says for the past
13 years, something was missing. It wasn't just her murdered son, Nicholas.
It was the conscience of an
inmate, Jesse Rugge, who Susan says should live out his full sentence behind
"What's missing that people don't
understand is the confession," says Markowitz. "The confession that I saw that
the jurors didn't get to see. Had the jurors seen it, he would not be eligible
for this parole."
"Jesse Rugge is the one who knew
Nick," says Markowitz. "He wrestled him under the Christmas tree a year before
and how you can look someone in the eye knowing them and put duct tape around
their mouth. This is things you can't undo. When you know a person, it makes you
a very special evil."
And Governor Jerry Brown
agreed. In a letter to the parole board, Brown states: "Mr. Rugge's crime was
cold and callous...Mr. Rugge walked Nicholas to his shallow grave in the Santa
Barbara mountains and stood by while Nicholas was shot nine times. Until, Mr.
Rugge can better describe his complicity in these horrific events, I am not
prepared to release him."
"There was no way that I
was not going to be there to fight for justice
for my son," says Markowitz. "He deserved to have justice. I feel justice has
As for the other suspects, Ryan
Hoyt is on death row at San Quentin State Prison, William Skidmore was released
in 2009, Graham Pressley was released in 2007 and Jesse James Hollywood is
serving life without parole.
The date of Rugge's next parole
hearing has not yet been set but will take place in Sacramento.
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