Kacee Lloyd Monroe was convicted in 2004 for the Nov. 19, 2001, second-degree murder of his friend Austin Ross, both 16, and both Pine Cove residents. Austin died of blunt-force trauma to the head and was buried in the woods. Monroe was sentenced to 16 years to life.

On Oct. 2, of this year, a two-commissioner parole board recommended parole for Monroe, now 33, and serving time in the Avenal State Prison since July 13, 2004.

Luis Patiño, an information officer for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, explained the possibilities of what happens next.

Monroe was given a Grant of Parole Suitability during a hearing on Oct. 2. The board questions attorneys, witnesses and maybe the inmate. They determine the suitability based on the inmate’s comportment in prison and work skills. Can he/she take care of and support themselves? If so, they will be more stable outside prison.

More importantly, they determine if the inmate will or will not continue to be dangerous to society.

Then begins a 150-day process from when the recommendation for parole was made.

The first 120 days is a review of the hearing by parole board staff to ensure everything was handled correctly, all the appropriate questions were asked, etc. If all seems correct, the recommendation goes to the governor’s office.

The governor has 30 days to either uphold the recommendation, reverse it, send it back for review, modify it or take no action (in which case, parole is granted).

If the case is sent back for review, it will then go before the full board of 15 commissioners. And if they decide to send it back for another hearing, most likely it will be before a different board of two commissioners, at which time, the process begins again.

However, if parole is granted, the time, date and location of release is not revealed for safety reasons, Patiño said.