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New bill temporarily releases killer from death row to help investigators

7:57 PM, Jul 6, 2012   |    comments
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Wes Shermantine

SACRAMENTO, CA - Convicted serial killer Wesley Shermantine could be released temporarily from death row to help investigators--- if a new bill passes.

AB2357 would give the state corrections secretary the authority to allow Shermantine to help investigators search. He would help uncover dozens of his victim's bodies that have been missing for decades.

The State Senate unanimously approved AB23-57 yesterday.The measure now goes to the Assembly for a vote.

Criminal law professor, John Myers, of University of Pacific McGeorge School of Law, explains what the bill means.

"He's being allowed out of prison under the closest law enforcement you can imagine to give info only he possesses," said Myers. "The person who knows best where a victim may be located is the person who placed the victim's body there."

Bounty Hunter, Leonard Padilla, has received numerous phone calls and maps from Shermantine, describing where he remembered burying his victims.

In February, crews found the remains of three women inside an old abandoned well in Linden.

In many cases, maps and phone calls have helped. But many times, the notes have been way off.

"When I talk to him on the phone and he draws maps, 70 feet difference can be as a good as 10 miles," said Padilla.

Supporters say If AB2357 passes, Shermantine could lead the investigators directly to the locations, maybe even remember more locations.

Padilla thinks the new bill would help investigators get the job done right.

"When we were talking about Chevy Wheeler, if he'd been there, he'd be able to point right to the ground and we wouldn't have to dig," said Padilla.

Under AB2357, Shermantine would be able to only help in the investigation for one year.

By Suzanne Phan, sphan@news10.net

Twitter: @suzannephan

KXTV/News10

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