California county upholds sanctuary policy after killing

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Supervisors in a California county refused to change a sanctuary policy that critics say prompted the release from jail of a gang member in the country illegally before he allegedly killed a woman in San Jose.

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 on Tuesday to retain the policy of not holding immigration suspects without a warrant or a judicial order unless the person is charged with a crime.

The decision came after some local officials pushed the county to inform Immigration and Customs Enforcement about the upcoming release of violent felons.

The policy came under criticism after the Feb. 28 slaying of 54-year-old Bambi Larson.

Police later arrested Carlos Eduardo Arevalo Carranza, 24, an immigrant from El Salvador who had been on the radar of ICE since 2013, when officials said he failed to show up in immigration court.

Police said Arevalo Carranza had been arrested in January on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia and then released.

Police say he beat and stabbed Larson the next month in her home.

Santa Clara County public defenders representing Arevalo Carranza did not immediately return a message Wednesday seeking comment.

An admitted gang member, Arevalo Carranza has a criminal history spanning five years in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles. He was on probation for possession of methamphetamine, paraphernalia, false imprisonment and burglary, police said.

The San Jose Police Officers' Association said it was disappointed with the board's decision and would continue to push for a change in the policy.

"Notifying our federal law enforcement partners of the upcoming release of those individuals with a proven record of violent criminal behavior is the right thing to do," said Paul Kelly, president of the association.

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