A man sentenced to prison for kidnapping a 3-month-old Woodland boy for ransom in 1982 has been denied parole for the 18th time.
Bruce Young, 56, is serving a life sentence for kidnapping baby Brandon Huff from the Huff family’s ranch on Aug. 9, 1982. The latest denial of parole came Thursday following a four-hour hearing at the California Health Care Facility, a state prison in Stockton where Young is incarcerated, according to a Yolo County District Attorney’s Office news release.
A the time of the kidnapping, Young was a heroin addict who was in debt to his drug dealer, Salvador Sanchez. During Thursday’s hearing, Young said he owed Sanchez about $3,000. Sanchez told Young that he would forgive the debt if he helped Sanchez kidnap the Huff baby and ask ransom from the Huff family. Two juvenile girls assisted in the kidnapping.
Young said his role was to confront a caretaker at the family’s ranch, Jose Carillo, whom Young struck several times with the butt of a shotgun, fracturing Carillo’s ribs. The others kidnapped the infant and fled in a van. Sanchez later phoned in a ransom demand.
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Later, as Sanchez drove the van on Interstate 5, Yolo County sheriff’s deputies and the California Highway Patrol pursued them at high speed. During the chase, at Sanchez’s urging, one of the girls dangled the baby out of the van window.
Young later turned himself in after seeing the chase unfold on television. He pleaded guilty to charges including kidnapping for ransom and was sentenced to seven years to life in prison.
Sanchez, 22, hanged himself in the Yolo County jail on the eve of his trial. The girls, who were 13 and 15 at the time of the kidnapping, served time at the California Youth Authority until their 21st birthdays.
While in prison, Young has been written up for offenses both serious and administrative in nature, according to the District Attorney’s Office. He also admitted using heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine over the years, continuing a history of drug abuse that began when he was about 13 years old, authorities said.
For the past year, Young has been drug-free and has had no discipline problems. He also is an artist who sells his paintings and donates them to charities, authorities said.
The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office and Yolo County Sheriff’s Office opposed Young’s release, citing a September psychological evaluation that deemed Young at moderate risk for violence and recidivism. The parole board also received numerous letters requesting Young’s release from people including family members, neighbors and teachers from elementary school.
The District Attorney’s Office reports that the kidnap victim, Brandon Huff, now 34, is an Iraq War veteran who lost his left leg after a bomb exploded in Mosul in 2005. His mother, Marcia Hammill of Woodland, attended Thursday’s hearing, as did Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven.
Young’s next hearing date is scheduled for 2021, but he can ask the Board of Parole Hearings to advance the date.