A Modesto man has been denied parole for his role in a 2006 gang fight and subsequent stabbing that occurred in Oakdale.
Stanislaus County District Attorney Jeff Laugero announced that Raul Arauza, Jr., 51, of Modesto was found unsuitable for parole during a mid-November hearing of the State Board of Parole Hearings held at Corcoran State Prison. Deputy District Attorney Amy Elliott Neumann appeared at the hearing to represent the interests of the People of Stanislaus County.
On Oct. 7, 2006, Arauza went with three Sureño gang members to a home in Oakdale where rival gang Norteños members and associates were gathered to raise funds for the family of a slain member of the Norteños. A fight erupted between the two rival groups. Arauza and his group retreated to a nearby home but returned moments later wielding bats and sticks. A second fight erupted. Someone yelled out, “Raul has a knife.” Arauza began fighting with the victim, who did not have a weapon. Arauza repeatedly stabbed the victim in the chest and stomach. The victim was stabbed four times. Even though three people clearly identified Arauza as the stabber, authorities said he denied at his hearing that he stabbed the victim and claimed he was convicted based on mistaken identity.
Prosecutor Neumann attended the Nov. 16 hearing and argued against Arauza being released on parole noting that Arauza committed numerous prison rules violations. Arauza had 16 rule violations, including acts of violence, and a prison conviction that added time to his sentence for possession of a weapon. While Arauza maintains he is no longer a gang member, he had rule violations for gang-related violence, cell phone use, and engaged in little programming to address his gang involvement.
Neumann also pointed out that Arauza lacked any appreciable insight into what motivated him to commit the crimes and failed to take advantage of any self-help or self-improvement programs to address his continued criminal thinking. The Board found that Arauza lacked any understanding of the causative factors for the crimes and presented a current danger to public safety. The Board of Parole Hearings agreed and denied Arauza parole for three years. This was his second parole hearing.