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Board denies parole for man serving 54 years on robbery, sexual assault convictions

State of California Board of Parole Hearings seal.

The state Board of Parole Hearings on Tuesday denied youthful offender early parole to a Vallejo man who was sentenced to 54 years in prison for two robberies in Marin and Sonoma counties and a sexual assault in 2004, the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office said.

Lawrence Reed, 34, was convicted of the April 9, 2004 strong-arm robbery and sexual assault of a woman at an apartment near the Santa Rosa Junior College and of a similar robbery in Corte Madera a few months prior.

Reed and three other men drove from Marin County to Santa Rosa to steal marijuana. When none was found the defendants bound and pistol-whipped the victims, held them captive and ransacked the apartment for two hours. Reed targeted the woman for sexual assault, and the four defendants fled with ATM cards, $300 and sports equipment, the District Attorney’s Office said.

Reed was convicted by a jury of the Santa Rosa robbery and was sentenced to 45 years in prison. He pleaded no contest to the Marin County robbery and was sentenced to nine years in prison. Two East Bay men pleaded no contest to the Santa Rosa robbery.

Reed applied for a youthful offender early release parole hearing for defendants who committed a crime prior to age 26. Reed was 19 at the time of the robberies.

The hearing officers take into account “hallmarks of youth” that include recognizing youth are not capable of understanding the risks and consequences of their actions, cannot resist impulses and peer pressure and are less in control of life’s circumstances.

The deputy district attorneys from Sonoma and Marin counties opposed Reed’s early release.

The State Board of Prisons denied Reed’s youthful offender release but Reed can request another hearing in 2024, the District Attorney’s Office said. Reed also can apply for an early release review before 2024 if he believes he is ready for parole, the District Attorney’s office said.

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