South Valley man accused of murdering woman, hitting and killing another during chase

Visalia police detectives are investigating a homicide after a person was found dead early Tuesday morning.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Barry Dantzler is accused of killing two women: 37-year-old Heather Sloan and 44-year-old Heather Maciel.

Visalia Police believe Dantzler murdered Sloan, described as an acquaintance, at this home last Tuesday.

By Friday night, Visalia officers had caught up with Dantzler at a Motel 6 in Tulare, and tried to pull him over.

But Sgt. Celeste Sanchez says he sped off, leading officers on a short chase down Cherry Street.

Dantzler lost control of his car and hit a utility pole, causing the car to roll over, and then hit a woman on a bike, Heather Maciel, killing her.

"He ran from the area, he ran into the backyard of a residence and officers were able to locate him and take him into custody," Sgt. Sanchez said.

Heather Maciel, according to her husband Mario, was the best wife and mother, outgoing, and a pleasure to be around.

He says it's hard to believe she's really gone.

"She didn't deserve to die this way and I just feel it was preventable in more than one way," Mario Maciel said.

Over the objection of the district attorney, Dantzler was released from custody on his own recognizance in February, after pleading no contest to charges including evading a peace officer and hit and run causing injury.

He was required to return for sentencing for that case in April, but Tulare County Court Administration officials say it was continued due to COVID-19.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says Dantzler was also on parole, after serving a five and a half year prison term.

Additional info from CDCR:

"Parolee-at-large Barry T. Dantzler, (CDCR #AN5722) arrived at CDCR from Tulare County on February 25, 2013 sentenced to a total 9 years in prison for two separate cases with a total 5 convictions and three enhancements. The offenses include two counts of second-degree attempted robbery, a second strike of possession of a firearm by a felon or addict, possession of ammunition by a prohibited person- second strike and Criminal threat to cause great bodily injury or death. The three enhancements were for being armed with a firearm. His controlling offense was one of the second-degree attempted robbery charges with one enhancement. Per the sentencing court, all other charges were to run concurrent to the controlling offense. He was eligible for 20% to 33% credit earning and was given 248 days of credit by the sentencing court. He was paroled for having served his full term by law on September 9, 2018. He absconded three times while on parole. The most recent was on April 3rd. He remained a parolee-at-large until his arrest."
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