Bresnahan Seeks Pardon In Murder Of Parents
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) _ A California physician convicted as a teen-ager in Colorado for the murder of his parents is seeking a pardon from Gov. Roy Romer.
William James Bresnahan was 16 in the summer of 1964, when he stabbed and beat his parents to death during a camping trip.
Psychiatric records indicated Bresnahan had been abused by his parents, and that the murders may have been triggered by anger over his family environment.
Bresnahan served his sentence at the state prison in Canon City, went to medical school at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center after his release in 1977 and became a doctor.
If a pardon is granted, Bresnahan, who is licensed to practice in both Colorado and California, could petition the Fifth Judicial District court in Breckenridge to have his conviction erased.
U.S. District Judge John Kane, who as a lawyer handled Bresnahan’s appeals for eight years, has sent a letter to Romer asking that the pardon be approved.
″Of all the people that I have sentenced as a judge or that I have heard about or read about, I don’t know of any that even comes close to this story of triumph,″ Kane said Tuesday.
Summit County District Attorney Kurt Schulke said Romer’s office asked him for a recommendation.
He said his predecessor, Jack Healy, did not favor a pardon but that Eugene Lorig, who was district attorney at the time of the murders, did react favorably.
Bresnahan was given two concurrent life sentences after pleading guilty. The bodies were found Aug. 4, 1964, at a campsite near Silverthorne.
Former Gov. Richard D. Lamm commuted the life sentence in June 1975 to 24 years and 10 months and Bresnahan was paroled two years later.
In an interview with the Rocky Mountain News on Tuesday, from his home in Visalia, Calif., 40 miles south of Fresno, Bresnahan would not discuss the pardon.
He said only that he was practicing general internal medicine, and works ″primarily with migrant farm workers at a small clinic″ in Earlimart, south of Fresno.