Child killer Jackie Skeels denied parole after drowning conviction

District Attorney News for 3/7/13 edition of the Sierra Star

March 6, 2013 

Madera County District Attorney Michael R. Keitz announced Tuesday, Feb. 26 that the Board of Parole Hearings has denied Jackie Skeels parole for the next three years.

Skeels, 53, of Fresno, was convicted March 24, 1983, of first degree murder in the drowning of her boyfriend's 9-year-old son, Steven Brown, in the San Joaquin River, on Aug. 23, 1982. Skeels and her co-conspirators, Michael Cooper and Lupe Gonzalez, coaxed the victim into the water where they sang "Happy Death Day to You" before drowning him. Skeels later reported the child missing during a shopping trip to K-Mart, which sparked an intensive search. The child's body was later discovered in Madera County next to the river.

On Feb. 14, 2013, prosecutor Linda Dunn of the Madera County District Attorney's Office was able to convince the Board of Parole Hearings that Skeels was still too dangerous to be released into society. The Board of Parole Hearings ordered that Skeels remain in prison and her suitability for parole will be reexamined in three years.

"I am pleased the Board of Parole Hearings could understand and appreciate the unsuitability of Ms. Skeels for release into the public," Keitz said.

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