Tim DonnellyJerry Brown

State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly left. Governor Jerry Brown right.

By Seema Mehta
January 6, 2014, 6:18 p.m.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly, in a video released Monday to introduce his campaign manager, blames Gov. Jerry Brown’s prison policy for the rape and murder of a 76-year-old woman in Stockton, and argues that the governor’s attempts to reduce prison crowding amounted to a true “war on women.”

“I believe in women, I don’t believe in early release for criminals who prey on women,” Donnelly says in the two-and-a-half-minute video.

Jennifer Kerns, Donnelly’s newly named campaign manager, raises as evidence the case of a paroled sex offender accused of killing the Stockton woman — his grandmother.

“Gov. Brown’s early release of 10,000 felons?” Kerns says. “That’s criminal.”

Donnelly’s campaign is targeting realignment, a policy created by Brown and state lawmakers to reduce the prison population by keeping some nonviolent offenders in local jails rather than sending them to state prisons.

Inmates were not released early from state prisons under realignment. But local law enforcement officials have complained that the policy has forced them to release some parole violators from jail early because their lockups are also overcrowded.

The man in question, Jerome DeAvila, was repeatedly freed from the San Joaquin County jail after arrests for parole violations and other alleged offenses. He was arrested again in February, days after his most recent release from jail, and is facing charges of murder, rape, robbery, resisting arrest and violating parole.

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