Placer County District Attorney’s Office requests answers regarding the decision to release alleged murderer 

Erby was on early release when allegedly dismembering local Sacramento woman 

The Placer County District Attorney’s Office is requesting answers surrounding the early release of Darnell Erby, a prior defendant from Placer County, who was arrested and charged in connection to the brutal murder and dismemberment of a local Sacramento woman in July 2022.  

On Aug. 8 the Placer County District Attorney’s Office sent a letter to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation asking a number of questions about the early release of Erby.  

“Our community wants to know why this man was released after serving less than half of his prison sentence,” said Placer County District Attorney Morgan Gire. “Our office, along with the Amador County District Attorney’s Office, twice opposed the release of this dangerous inmate. These early-release decisions are having deadly impacts on our communities, and our residents need to know how and why these decisions are being made.”  

Erby was convicted and sentenced in August 2017 in both Placer and Amador Counties to serve over 12 years in prison. In 2018, he was eligible for early parole under the state’s non-violent early parole program.  

The Placer County District Attorney’s Office wrote a letter of opposition to Erby’s release in 2018 and again in January 2021. The 2018 letter stated Erby’s “repetitive behavior of committing felonies soon after being released from prison” and his “mindset is indicative of a current unreasonable risk of violence”. Further, the 2021 letter pointed out “the indisputable fact that institutionalization has done nothing to correct the inmate’s criminal behavior.” The letter concluded by stating that “continued incarceration appears to be the only way to guarantee that [Erby] will not continue to victimize people.” 

The Amador County District Attorney’s Office also vehemently opposed Erby’s release. Their 2018 opposition letter stated that he “has only been free from incarceration for about 5-6 years in the past 20 years. In that time, he has been convicted of 8 different crimes and arrested 20 times. Inmate Erby has been unable to go more than two years without committing a serious felony. His criminal history clearly demonstrates that he is a threat to society and unwilling to be rehabilitated.” 

Erby was subsequently denied parole in 2018 and again in 2020. In 2020, his denial packet even stated that he showed “criminal activity while in prison”.   

Last month, Erby was arrested and charged with the murder of a 77-year-old woman who was found dead on the morning of July 19 at her home in Sacramento. Her body was “dismembered beyond recognition,” Sacramento County sheriff’s officials said.  Erby is accused of murder and burglary in connection with the victim’s death. He remains in custody without bail in the Sacramento County Jail.  

According to the early release program website, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall only release inmates who do not pose a risk of violence and who show positive institutional behavior.  CDCR must also consider concerns of related district attorneys’ offices and victims of crime.  

The Placer County District Attorney’s Office is requesting documentation surrounding the decision to release Erby and what actions are being taken to ensure inmates who do in fact pose a risk of violence to the community remain incarcerated.  

Read the full letter here.

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