SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A mother was found suitable for parole after she told her son to “handle” her husband in 2008, the office of Stanislaus County Attorney Birgit Fladager announced Friday.
Carol Laverne Harris, 64, of Modesto was granted parole during a hearing on April 7 held at Central California’s Women’s Facility in Chowchilla, the DA’s office said.
According to prosecutors, Harris told her son Dasheme Hosley on Aug. 30 2008 to “come to handle” her then-husband Karl Johnson, telling him that Johnson put his hands on her during an argument.
The DA said Hosley has a prior “violent criminal record” and “propensity” for violence.
Prosecutors said Harris hid Johnson’s car keys when he tried to leave to allow her son to make the trip to her home in Modesto from the Bay Area.
When Hosley arrived, Harris told Johnson to answer the door and then her son shot and killed him, as she stood a few feet away, the DA said.
After deliberations, the board granted Harris parole, saying that she did not pose an “unreasonable risk” to public safety and she didn’t have any violations during her time in prison. The board said Harris actively participated in multiple programs for substance abuse, AA/NA, anger management, vocational training, and college course.
“The commissioners also felt that Harris had expressed significant insight into the causes of her criminal behavior and had a release plan which included transitional housing, family support and employment that mitigated any safety risk she may pose to the community,” the DA’s press release said.
It was Harris’ second parole hearing after she was previously denied in 2020.
During the parole hearing, the DA said Stanislaus County special prosecutor Holly MacKinnon argued against Harris’ release and for continued confinement. MacKinnon’s argument for confinement included Harris’ second-degree murder offense, her lack of “credibility,” and prior record, the DA said.
Prosecutors said Johnson’s ex-wife, daughter, and son appeared at Harris’ hearing and gave statements to the board.
“Mr. Johnson’s daughter shared the traumatic effect her father’s death had on her childhood and her family,” the DA’s office said in a press release. “She was adamantly against Harris’s release and believes Harris is still manipulative deceitful and lacks remorse.”
According to the DA, the board’s decision moves to the Decision Review Unit, which has 120 days to review the grant of parole.
If the parole is approved, Gov. Gavin Newsom will have 30 days to reverse, modify, refer to a full board session or let the parole stand.
Harris was convicted of second-degree murder by a jury a Stanislaus County Superior Court on Oct. 22, 2010. There were attempts to reduce her conviction to manslaughter and a new trial, but both of those were denied, the DA said.
During a trial, witnesses testified that Harris was the aggressor that night and not Johnson, prosecutors said.
Harris was later sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison on April 17, 2012, and an appellate court upheld the conviction in 2014.
In a separate trial, Hosley was convicted of first-degree murder, and personal use of a firearm and prior convictions were found to be true, the DA said. Hosley was later sentenced to 80 years to life in state prison.