Classic car thief set to be released

The Board of Parole Hearings decided it will release 36-year-old Thomas Leo Cummings from prison early under California Proposition 57.

A Fresno County man with six felony convictions will now get out of prison sooner.

36-year-old Thomas Leo Cummings is serving less than half of his sentencing for stealing two classic cars from an Air Force veteran on Veteran’s Day in 2015. Cummings was sentenced to five years in prison. However, under California Proposition 57, the Board of Parole Hearings decided to let him out early.

The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office says it is disappointed by the decision. According to Assistant District Attorney, Blake Gunderson, the prosecutors are working hard to lock up people committing crimes. He says Cummings shouldn’t walk free after all he’s done.

"I am still shocked. I am still disgusted, that this kind of thing is going on in many egregious cases that we see. He is an example of the kind of people who are getting out in spite of their crimes and everything that they have done in the past," said Gunderson.

According to reports from the DA’s office at Cummings' sentencing hearing, the Probation Department evaluated the risk of Cummings being out of prison. It determined him to be a “high violent” risk to the public because of his lengthy criminal history.

The D.A.'s Office reports, the Board of Parole Hearings decided to disregard the Probation Department's recommendations and the fact that Cummings is a repeat offender.

"Unfortunately, we routinely see the Board of Parole making these large mistakes in their decisions," said Gunderson.

So far the D.A.'s Office report shows 20 prison inmates from Fresno County have been released under Prop 57 and many more releases are expected.

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