Yuba County Man Denied Parole in 1997 Killing of Sheriff’s Deputy
Originally published 5-3-23 via Facebook
by the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department:
“Marysville, Ca. – The incident involving the death of Yuba County Deputy Brian Meilbeck may have occurred over 25 years ago, however, the grief and pain of losing a loved one never goes away. Deputy Meilbeck left behind a wife and young son when he was shot and killed after responding to a domestic dispute call. The suspect, Phillip Peterson, had already shot his brother in the leg when he fired upon deputies as they approached the front door. Deputy Meilbeck, who had only been on the job for two months, was hit in the chest and died later at the hospital.
Phillip Peterson was arrested and later convicted of second degree murder and has been in prison ever since. Because of changes to California law, he became eligible for a parole review under California’s elderly parole law. Yuba County Deputy District Attorney Caitlin Smith appeared at the parole hearing yesterday to advocate to keep Peterson in custody. Although Peterson is advanced in age, the parole board denied parole. The panel found he has continued to engage in violence and misconduct while incarcerated, and that he doesn’t have a firm grasp of his issues with substance abuse. They continued that he fails to take responsibility for his actions, and doesn’t understand the causative factors underlying his criminal behavior. The board expressed concerns that Peterson believes that “rules don’t apply to [him]”.
While the People asked for the maximum time before Peterson returns before the board, the commissioners recommended a five year denial, meaning he won’t come back for a review for 5 years.
“Time may go by, but we will not forget,” says District Attorney Clint Curry. “Phillip Peterson is a dangerous man who needs to remain in custody for the rest of his life. We will continue to fight to keep him where he belongs.”
“The decision to deny Peterson’s parole is great news,” says Sheriff Anderson. “Deputy Meilbeck paid the ultimate sacrifice as a deputy and will never be forgotten.”