Man convicted of killing developmentally disabled Clovis man being released from prison

Friday, August 13, 2021
Man convicted of killing Clovis man being released from prison
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In 1980, David Weidert lured 20-year-old Mike Morganti out of his apartment and tortured him for 45 minutes before stabbing him and strangling him.

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's difficult for Vikki Van Duyne to speak through her tears, after learning the man convicted of killing her developmentally disabled brother, in what's been described as a callous and violent murder, is being set free.

"We still have nightmares about Mike and what Weidert did to him," she said.

In November of 1980, David Weidert lured 20-year-old Mike Morganti of Clovis out of his apartment and tortured him for nearly an hour before stabbing and strangling him.

"He didn't even fight back," Vikki said.

Weidert then forced Morganti to dig his own grave and buried him alive. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Weidert has petitioned for parole three different times in recent years.

In 2015 and again in 2018, Gov. Jerry Brown reversed the parole board's decision, saying he was shocked by Weidert's explanations for the gruesome killing.

Last August, Gov. Gavin Newsom blocked his parole yet again.

But now, after Weidert serving 40 years behind bars Newsom said he will take no further action to block the parole.

In a statement, a spokesperson from the governor's office pointed to the findings of the parole board saying that it "determined that he does not pose a current unreasonable risk to public."

"I think he just has a very simple goal of taking care of his mom and dad," says attorney Charles Carbone.

Carbone, an attorney representing Weidert and his family, says that he's expected to be released sometime this week.

"It's also bittersweet for them because they understand the seriousness of what their son did, but by the same token, they are hoping their son is going to be joining them after some time in transitional housing," Carbone said.

Carbone says Weidert will be taken straight to transitional housing after his release, where he will remain for at least 6 months, followed by three to five years of parole. The terms of his parole include no contact with the victim's family.

Still, Morganti's sister says it'll be hard to sleep at night knowing the killer is no longer behind bars.

"I wish I had some wonderful Christian thing to say about Weidart and wish him well, and I don't," she said.