A man convicted of the 1999 murder of a San Luis Obispo woman could have another shot at life outside prison walls.
Michael Anthony Morgan of Paso Robles has a parole suitability hearing on March 29.
He murdered 36-year-old Angelina Roe in May of 1999 and dumped her body at an Atascadero construction site. A few months later, her body was discovered in a 45-foot pillar hole by a construction crew.
Another man, John Card of San Luis Obispo, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the case and has since been released after serving seven years.
Morgan could be released by the end of this year and the victim’s daughter, Amber Escarzega, wants him to know just how much he impacted her life.
“He took a mother away from four children," Escarzega said. "She had a whole lifetime ahead of her.”
Amber was seven years old when her mom was brutally murdered.
“Mother's Day weekend, I came to visit my mom and she wasn't home and I had given her a gift so I set it down on the door and I had come back every weekend for probably four weeks and she still wasn't home,” she explained.
Her mom was missing for several months before being discovered by construction crews building a bridge along Highway 41 near Rolling A Ranch.
“There are a lot of conflicting reports,” said San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow. “What we know is that Mr. Morgan admitted to killing Ms. Roe after looking through her purse and after, we believe, taking money from her. We know it was a brutal crime, a crime of anger and pure evil, quite frankly. He beat her, he hog-tied her, continued to beat her, and then finally strangled her.”
It wasn’t until years later that Amber learned how her mom died.
“We didn't have somebody to go to. We were all alone,” she said.
Now more than two decades later, her mom’s killer, who was convicted of premeditated murder and sentenced to 26 years to life in state prison, could walk free.
“What do you say to somebody who ruined your life?” Escarzega questioned.
Amber is still trying to figure out what to say to Morgan on March 29 during his parole suitability hearing. It’ll be the first time she sees him and is able to address him through Zoom.
“I just want to know who he is as a person now, if he's regretful, remorseful, if there's more to the story,” she said.
Morgan is behind bars at California State Prison, Corcoran, and that’s where Amber hopes he stays.
“He doesn't deserve to be out and to be free,” she added.
She’s encouraging the community and others impacted by Morgan’s actions to write to the parole board before his hearing on March 29.
“Our hearts are with the family of Angelina Roe and all of her loved ones who were robbed of the last 23 years of her life,” Dow said. “In the event that the parole board suggests that he should be released, we will then very likely file a letter to the governor asking him to overturn that parole board's decision and to keep him committed to state prison.”
Amber says her mom liked to dance and listen to music so that’s what she does to keep her mom’s spirit alive. She also recently made a new discovery.
“My sister told me she wore this perfume. It's called Red Door and so I found it a couple of weeks ago and I smelled it and it's just nice to know what she smelled like. She loved the beach and rocks and anything Native American reminds me of her and so those are all things I hold really near and dear to my heart,” Escarzega concluded.
Roe would have been 59 years old on March 16.
KSBY News reached out to Michael Anthony Morgan via mail but has not heard back.
The District Attorney’s Office has a deputy district attorney that will appear before the parole board on March 29 to argue that Morgan stays in prison.
If you’re a victim of a crime, a family member of a victim, or a witness who testified against the offender, you may request to be notified of a change to the custody status of the offender, including parole hearings.
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