A Tulare County inmate has been denied parole for the fourth time in the 1979 murder of his wife, after which he fled to Mexico and remained in hiding for the next sixteen years.
According to a press release by the District Attorney’s Office, prosecutors in late March secured, via virtual hearing, a five-year denial of parole for 75-year-old Jose Nava, who is currently serving a life sentence at California State Prison, Solano. The denial of parole was based on the 1979 murder of his wife, Irene Vasquez, for which he was convicted in 1997 of second-degree murder with the use of a firearm.
The murder occurred on September 14th, 1979, when Nava and his friend drove to Lindsay in search of Irene Vasquez, who had filed for divorce just a few weeks prior. After driving around for a few hours, they eventually parked near her house and waited for her to return home from work with her 13-year-old daughter. When she did, Nava entered the home through a back window and shot her four times, killing her.
Nava fled to Ensenada, Mexico, and managed to evade capture for nearly sixteen years until he surrendered himself at the port-of-entry in San Diego in April of 1996. He was subsequently convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 17 years to life in prison.
This is the fourth time Nava has been denied parole in this case, the DA’s Office said. After committing the crime in 1979, Nava reportedly returned to his friend’s vehicle, admitted to having killed his wife, and said that he “was not sorry and [he] would kill her again if she were ever born again.”
The District Attorney’s Office said in the press release that parole hearings are regularly attended by personnel from the office, and that a prosecutor was present to argue against Nava’s release in this case.