Fresno man who killed his wife with a hammer back in 1992 is about to walk free

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A convicted killer is about to walk free. The victim's family says there's nothing they can do but hope that the laws will one day change.

Craig Simpson killed his wife Jacquelyn with a hammer back in 1992. After more than 20 years in prison the parole board decided to let Simpson go free. Jacquelyn Simspon was beaten so brutally that her family and prosecutors describe the crime as cold blooded. They say the killer is a harm to society.

Marilyn Pages said, "She was a wonderful girl, good daughter, good friend she didn't deserve to die."

Not a day goes by that Marilyn Pages doesn't think, miss, or remember her daughter Jacquelyn. The 34-year-old seemingly had it all. A good job, husband, two kids, and a lot of friends. Now those friends, and family visit her at the Clovis Cemetery. On her birthday, holidays- always on the day she died.

Pages describes a date that burns in her memory, "They couldn't save her- worst day of my life."

That was November 22nd, 1992. That's when Jacquelyn's husband Craig brutally attacked her. Their two young children heard her screams and called 911.

"The coroner estimated maybe 15 blows of a claw hammer while she was sleeping," Pages explained.

She made it to the hospital where she died. Marilyn -- now 80, raised her grandchildren and has spent more than a decade trying to keep her daughter's killer behind bars.

Pages added, "I figured he'd done enough to me already there was no way I was going to cave in I wasn't going to allow that to happen."

She went to every parole hearing she could make. She was sick for the last one- when the board decided to initiate parole proceedings. The state says it appears Simpson has done a lot to rehabilitate himself. There's been anger management classes, family relationship classes, and he's spent his time in custody working. None of that is good enough for Marilyn who says her daughter would want them all to keep on living. She says she's too tired to fight the parole board but hopes the next generation will push for change.

Pages said, "I am distressed that the laws so much favor killers instead of their victims they have all kinds of help and therapy- in my mind he's the same cold hearted killer he was."

The couple's two children were physically unharmed and are now grown and have moved on with their lives. The state won't ever give an exact release date, but Simpson was found suitable for parole in December and should be out by the end of the month, which is tomorrow. The governor took no action on his case.

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