Family Fights Release of Twice-Convicted Killer Walter Joseph Lewis Under Controversial California Parole Law

LOS ANGELES – Twice-convicted murderer Walter Joseph Lewis is set to be released on parole in California under the state’s Elderly Parole Law. Lewis, now 76, committed his first murder in 1965 when he stabbed a man to death at the age of 18. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison for the crime. In 1979, Lewis beat Robert Chartier to death with a hammer, resulting in another murder conviction. The Chartier family has been fighting to have Lewis’ release reconsidered since 2017.

The parole law in California allows for the release of any convicted criminal over the age of 50 who has spent at least 20 years in prison. This has led to hundreds of inmates being granted parole in recent years. According to records from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 317 inmates were granted parole in 2020, 360 in 2021, and 493 in 2022.

The decision to release Lewis has caused shock and dismay among Chartier’s relatives. In a letter posted on, Jason Brock, Chartier’s nephew, wrote about the traumatic impact Lewis’ actions had on their family. He expressed concern that if Lewis were released, he would pose a danger to society once again.

The news of Lewis’ impending release highlights a controversial aspect of the criminal justice system. While the legislation aims to provide an opportunity for elderly prisoners to be reintegrated into society after serving long sentences, it also raises questions about public safety and justice for the victims and their families.

The California Board of Parole Hearings and the District Attorney’s office have been contacted for further information on the release. The Chartier family’s ongoing fight to overturn Lewis’ parole serves as a reminder of the lasting impact of violent crimes on victims’ loved ones.

In conclusion, Walter Joseph Lewis, a twice-convicted murderer, is scheduled to be released on parole under the California Elderly Parole Law. The decision has generated shock and concern among the Chartier family, who have been advocating for Lewis’ release to be reconsidered. The case highlights the complexities of the criminal justice system and its impact on victims’ families. The parole law, while providing an opportunity for rehabilitation, raises important questions about public safety and justice.