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The Madera Tribune

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District attorney's office seeks help in arsonist parole battle

September 11, 2017

The Madera County District Attorney’s Office has filed its opposition to the possible parole of 50-year-old Alice Waterman from the Central California Women’s Facility near Chowchilla.


Waterman and her 44-year-old husband, Kenneth Allen Jackson, both of Coarsegold, set a series of fires in the Yosemite Lakes Park area in the summer of 2013.


Recently denied parole, Jackson is serving a 30-year 8-month sentence at Solano State Prison near Vacaville for 21 criminal counts. Waterman was sentenced to 10 years and 8 months in prison on six counts.


Both were convicted of felonies that under Proposition 57 aren’t considered violent or serious, which could open parole and good behavior opportunities. Prop. 57, a state constitutional amendment and statute, was approved by 64 percent of voters in 2016.


“Proposition 57 was flawed since its inception, and should never be applied to criminal acts such as those Mr. Jackson and Ms. Waterman committed,” said Linn.


In the letter filed on Sept. 1, Linn included arguments specific to Waterman’s release as well as all arguments and exhibits (including 74 letters from the public) previously submitted to oppose parole for Jackson this summer.


The district attorney’s office asks those with additional information regarding Waterman’s involvement in the fires to contact Madera District Attorney’s Victim Services Specialist, Taguhi Bableyan, at 675-7726, by Sept. 11.


Linn said the Waterman case may be more difficult, in that she was charged with a third the number of criminal counts as her husband, and a far shorter time in prison. Her case is also being reviewed by the California Fifth Appellate District over allegations of constitutional violations committed during her 2014 trial.


“Mr. Jackson and Ms. Waterman were neither prosecuted in an appropriate manner, nor prosecuted under the proper penal code sections, by my predecessors, to obtain convictions on all the crimes they committed,” Linn said.


Waterman, like her husband, also had no criminal history prior to her arson conviction in 2014. Both she and her husband insisted upon their innocence throughout their prosecution.

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