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Former Pasadena Resident Sirhan Sirhan, Convicted of Killing RFK, Is Granted Parole, But Release Not Guaranteed

Published on Friday, August 27, 2021 | 2:42 pm
At left, Sirhan Sirhan on June 5, 1968. (Los Angeles Police Department photograph) At right, Sirhan Sirhan during a parole hearing Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, Pool)

Former Pasadena resident Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, the man convicted of assassinating Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, has been recommended for release by a California parole board.

The decision does not automatically mean the 77-year-old Sirhan, who is imprisoned at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in Otay Mesa in San Diego County, will be released.

The decision by a two-person parole panel will enter a 90-day review period, after which it will be forwarded to the governor, who will have 30 days to decide to uphold the decision, reject it or modify it.

Sirhan, a Pasadena City College student at the time of the assassination, fatally shot Kennedy on June 5, 1968, at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, according to prosecutors.

Olympic Decathlete Rafer Johnson and L.A. Rams defensive lineman Rosey Grier wrestled Sirhan to the ground immediately after the shooting.

Kennedy, who was running for president, had just won the California primary.

When Sirhan was 12 years old, his family moved to Pasadena. Sirhan attended Eliot Junior High, John Muir High School and Pasadena City College.

Although he was convicted of the crime, a debate has raged for years about Sirhan’s involvement in the incident and the number of shooters.

Chief Medical Examiner and Coroner for the County of Los Angeles Thomas Noguchi stated that the fatal shot was fired behind Kennedy’s right ear and had come from a distance of approximately one inch.

Sirhan was in front of Kennedy at the time. Some witnesses contend Kennedy had turned his head just before the fatal shot was fired.

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