Betrayal: Murderer's early parole decision haunts Valley family

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Betrayal is the feeling of a local family after a parole board decision put a convicted killer on the path to getting out of prison soon.

"What does this say to us as a family?" asked Nancy Winslow. "It's like, 'You're not hurt. You're not hurt.'"

The DUI murder of her husband, Frank Winslow, led to a sentence of 15 years to life in prison for Perla Vazquez.

Vazquez murdered Frank Winslow in October 2011, running his Jeep off Highway 168 at Shaw Avenue in Northeast Fresno. She was driving faster than 80 miles per hour with a blood alcohol content of .13.

"It was a heinous crime without a doubt," Nancy Winslow said. "I'm hard-pressed to find worse circumstances in DUI cases with her repeated offenses and her lack of remorse, passing out in the back of the patrol car after she had been told she killed a man."

Winslow's death was the fifth known DUI incident for Vazquez.

A jury convicted her of murder in 2014 and a judge sent her to prison for a term of 15 years to life.

So Nancy Winslow expected to attend a parole hearing in 2026.

"Just at least make a person do the minimum, the minimum that they are sentenced to," she said. "Fifteen years. It will never be enough."

Instead, the parole board took up Vazquez's case Wednesday, more than four years early after the state increased good behavior credits last year.

The Winslow family let the panel know they haven't had time to heal, especially since Vazquez appealed the case and when that failed, she applied for clemency.

His daughters talked about growing up and living without a father.

When Vazquez spoke, they got a bad feeling about her sincerity.

"I saw a lot of what I saw during the trial," Nancy Winslow said. "It literally, we just burst into tears."

Action News reached out to Vazquez's family and a friend told us they didn't want to comment.

The parole board noted she has been a model inmate and has attended alcohol counseling.

If Vazquez is released, that last detail is the most important to the Winslows.

"The only thing that we can hope for as a family is that she does, if she is to be released, she does remain sober," Nancy Winslow said. "She doesn't drink and drive again. Because the alternative to remaining sober is unfathomable to us: to see another family go through this."

The parole board will still conduct a legal review and the governor could reverse its decision, but for now, all signs point to Perla Vazquez getting out of prison in 150 days despite what happened 11 years ago.
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