SAN DIEGO - A San Diego police officer is fighting to keep a cop killer from becoming a free man.
The cold blooded killer was recently granted parole and unless the governor steps in, he'll soon be back on the streets.
Ironically Governor Jerry Brown was also governor when San Diego Police Officer Archie Buggs was killed in 1978, and in 1979 when his killer was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
It was November 4, 1978. Buggs pulled a car over for an open container violation.
“The station here is at 7222 skyline drive and the very next block is the 7100 and about where that vehicle is now is where he made the stop on the car,” said San Diego Police Officer Bill Farrar.
Officer Buggs lived through the Vietnam War, but not the traffic stop.
“You never know what you're going to encounter,” said Farrar.
Buggs was shot six times, execution style, by one of the two gang members he had pulled over.
The gunman, now 53-year-old Jesus Cecena, was just 17 years old at the time.
“There's a phrase that's used a lot about a routine traffic stop -- any experienced police officers knows there's no such thing as a routine traffic stop,” said Farrar.
Officer Bill Farrar was the first to arrive on scene and find Officer Buggs.
“Came to the scene and I of course found Archie still in his uniform, engine running in his car, face down in the gutter, killed by the gunshot,” said Farrar, fired by Cecena, who was sentenced to life without parole 1979.
Just three years later though, another court ruled he couldn't be sentenced to life in prison without parole because he was 17 at the time of the killing.
In April, the state parole board decided it’s time he be released.
“I just don't think that if you premeditate killing an on-duty or off-duty police officer that you should ever get out of prison,” said Farrar.
Now Farrar and others are writing letters to the governor and the parole board urging them to reverse the decision.
The court modified Cecena's sentence to "seven years to life" and he became eligible for parole in 1985.
Before the April, 2014 hearing, Cecena had been denied parole 14 times.
Brown has until September 6 to review the decision.