SALINAS—A man convicted two decades ago of trying to kill two Watsonville Police officers was denied parole this week after a hearing at Salinas Valley State Prison, Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeff Rosell announced Wednesday.
Manuel Murillo, 42, was also convicted of dozens of other felonies for a crime spree that started on May 5, 1999 when he stole a truck at gunpoint in Monterey County and consumed alcohol and cocaine.
Murillo fired several shots at a WPD officer who approached him the next day. He struck the officer, Cpl. Pat Murray, twice in the leg before speeding off the wrong way down Main Street.
During the chase, which involved multiple officers, Murillo struck a Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle and fired multiple shots at a second WPD officer, Brad Chagnon.
While fleeing in the wrong direction down Soquel Drive near Cabrillo College, the defendant struck another truck, gravely injuring the driver.
Murray’s tibia was shattered just below his knee, Chagnon was treated for various injuries, and the driver of the other truck suffered multiple fractured bones.
Three passengers in the Murillo’s truck avoided bullet wounds but suffered cuts, scrapes, and bruises.
“(Murillo’s) crimes spanned two counties, required the efforts of four law enforcement agencies, caused injuries to multiple victims, and endangered countless lives along the way,” Rosell stated in a press release.
Since his incarceration, Murillo has continued to engage in violent behavior, including incidents in which he caused life-threatening injuries to an inmate and loss of consciousness to a correctional officer, Rosell said.
“We would like to thank the (Parole) Board for their decision to keep the defendant behind bars,” he said. “We feel that this decision is appropriate and just, and that our community will be safer as a result.”