Mazzan denied parole

The man who admitted to killing a judge's son and his girfriend will have to spend at least three more years in Nevada State Prison before he can have another parole hearing.

The Parole Board denied Jack Mazzan's request for release Tuesday, two weeks after he admitted to the board that he not only killed Richard Minor Jr. but Minor's girlfriend April Barber -- a crime for which he has never been tried.

Mazzan fought his original conviction and death sentence in the death of Minor for more than 20 years. He finally won a new trial when the Nevada Supreme Court ruled Washoe District attorneys at the time concealed possible evidence that someone else could have done it.

Washoe District Attorney Richard Gammick responded with charges that DNA evidence showed Mazzan guilty of murdering Barber, a former prostitute who was Minor's girlfriend at the time of the 1978 crime.

Mazzan surprised everyone by agreeing to admit he killed Minor if Gammick would drop the Barber case. Gammick took the deal, saying that solves both crimes and puts Mazzan back in prison.

He was sentenced to life with possible parole and, since he had already spent more than 20 years behind bars, he was immediately eligible for parole.

He pleaded his case two weeks ago, saying he stabbed Minor to death in an argument over profits from a drug deal.

"The argument just got out of control and I killed him," he said.

Then board member Dorla Salling asked about Barber and he replied that the girl was dead "because I killed her."

Richard Minor Sr., 80, asked the board not to grant parole because Mazzan spent the last 20 years "not in remorse but in protesting his innocence."

Mazzan said he didn't admit to the killing before because he was facing a death sentence: "If I had admitted it, I would have been executed."

The board agreed with Minor's father and denied Mazzan a parole. They set his next opportunity for three years from now -- the maximum amount of time they can make him wait for another hearing.


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