Placer County District Attorney’s Office joins local family to fight the release of their daughter’s murderers

The Placer County District Attorney’s Office is joining Justine Vanderschoot’s family in their plea to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to deny her murderers’ request to be released from prison.

Danny Bezemer and Brandon Fernandez have parole hearings with the CDCR parole board on July 28 and August 10. 

Danny Bezemer and his friend Brandon Fernandez admitted to the strangulation and murder of Justine Vanderschoot in 2003. 

In 2005, Bezemer received a sentence of 25 years to life and Fernandez received a sentence of 15 years to life. 

“The amount of pain these defendants have inflicted on the Vanderschoot family is unimaginable,” said District Attorney Morgan Gire. “Justine’s life was extinguished by these murderers in a horrifically cruel and vicious way. Now, the family must re-live their nightmare with each and every opportunity for release for these two defendants. The strength and grace of the Vanderschoot family through this indescribably difficult process is a testament to the human spirit.” 

The Placer County District Attorney’s Office attends and participates in parole hearings alongside victims and survivors of crime and their families. A dedicated prosecutor and a victim advocate are assigned to each case set for a parole hearing. 

A previous petition opposing the release of Brandon Fernandez in a 2017 hearing received over 22,000 signatures. This will be Danny Bezemer’s first parole hearing. 

A candlelit vigil honoring the life of Justine Vanderschoot will be held Sunday, July 24 at 7:30 p.m. on the Historic Auburn Courthouse steps. 

People who want to join in opposing the release of Bezemer and Fernandez can do so by signing this petition and writing a letter to CDCR. Read the story of Justine Vandershoot here.