The man convicted of shooting two farm workers to death in 1975 on Moon Mountain Road was denied parole after a hearing Thursday. William Barton, now 62 years-old “would continue to pose a danger to the community were he not incarcerated,” according to District Attorney Jill Ravitch. “Therefore, we objected to his release.”
The charges resulted from the robbery and shooting of two farm workers on March 23, 1975. Victims Sabino Sotelo, 40-years-old, and his son Gregorio Sotelo, 16, were shot by Barton multiple times with a .22 caliber handgun.
The victims had paid for gas and purchased some alcohol for the Barton and his three associates in exchange for a ride home. However, Barton demanded money from the elder Sotelo after they stopped the car on Moon Mountain Road When he did not comply, Barton shot and killed the son, then shot and the elder Sotelo. Barton and his associates removed the victims’ wallets and left the scene.
Barton later pled guilty to two counts of first degree murder, and admitted the enhancement of using a firearm in the commission of the crime and was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole.
The parole board ruled that the defendant would next be eligible for parole in seven years.