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NorCal double murderer to remain in prison after governor reverses parole vote

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Prosecutors are praising a move by California Gov. Jerry Brown to reverse a parole board’s decision to release from prison a Northern California man serving time for the horrific stabbing deaths of a woman suffering from multiple sclerosis and her caregiver.

Sonoma County prosecutors say John David Duport -- serving 26 years to life for the 1986 murders of 54-year-old Louise Welch and 38-year-old Michelle Granger -- will remain behind bars after Brown reversed a vote earlier this year by the Board of Parole to free Duport.

Prosecutors say Duport was 17-years-old when he and two other men -- Steve Clark and James Clark -- came up with a plan to rob Welch and Granger after a former housekeeper told the three men that the women had $2,000 in their home.

When the men went to the women’s home, and Welch -- who was caring for Granger -- answered the door, prosecutors say James Clark and Duport stabbed her more than 60 times.

Steve Clark went to a back bedroom, where he found Granger, who was confined to a wheelchair. Prosecutors say Granger was stabbed 30 times.

After killing the women, Duport and the Clarks got away with $400 they had found in a purse. Duport fled to Hollywood, but later returned to Sonoma County and turned himself in.

The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office had opposed releasing Duport, but the Board of Parole voted in March to release him. In reversing the board’s decision, the governor said Duport still posed an “unreasonable danger to society.”

“I am pleased the governor ultimately agreed with our position that Mr. Duport still poses a threat to public safety,” Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch said in a statement Thursday.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation records show the 45-year-old Duport is being held at what the department calls Correctional Training Facility, or what is more commonly known as Soledad State Prison. The facility is a minimum to maximum prison about 130 miles south of San Francisco.

Steve Clark and James Clark remain in prison after they were each sentenced to two life terms without the possibility of parole.

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