Man convicted in 1982 killing up for parole in July

Victim's family fighting to keep him locked up

SAN DIEGO - A man who pleaded guilty to what was considered one of San Diego's most heinous killings could be out on the streets again this summer.

It is a story 10News covered closely in 1982. San Diego police made a gruesome discovery: a woman's body dismembered and placed in a trash bin in Clairemont.

That woman, Cathy Stubbins, was Penny Goforth's sister. 

"Forgiveness is something I've come to terms with, but I don't forget," said Goforth.

The man who killed her sister, Thomas Patterson, Jr., was sentenced to 15 years to life.

It occurred while Patterson was on parole for raping a young girl.

"He's now served 30," said Goforth. "Would you want him walking the streets?"

It was about 5 p.m. one Friday when Goforth received a knock on her door. When she opened the door, she received a certified letter telling her now that Patterson was up for parole in July.

"I don't want the day to come when he gets out because of budget concerns," said Goforth.

As 10News reported last week, the state has already shed 42,000 inmates since 2006, but the federal courts still demand that California reduce its prison population by another 9,300 by the end of the year. That move could jeopardize public safety.  

It makes Goforth nervous because the state could expand the criteria for paroling the sick and the elderly. Patterson is now in his 60s.

Goforth is not taking any chances and will be asking people to send letters to the parole board.

 "We're the ones with a life sentence too," she said.

Letters can be sent to: Salinas Valley State Prison, Attn BPH Lifers Desk, Reference CDC #B97941 - Thomas Camilla Patterson Jr., P.O. Box 1020, Soledad, CA 93960

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