Justine Vanderschoot's murderer denied parole for a second time
Justine Vanderschoot’s murderer Daniel Bezemer denied parole for a second time; justice for Justine Vanderschoot continues for her family and Placer County community
March 23, 2023
Today, one of Justine Vanderschoot’s murderers, Daniel Bezemer, was denied parole for a second time by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
On March 23, the Placer County District Attorney’s Office supported Justine’s family in a second hearing with the parole board regarding the release of Daniel Bezemer. Prosecutors and the family attended the parole hearing together to oppose his release.
During the hearing, the board reviewed the totality of the circumstances surrounding the crime, the lasting effect of the crime on the family and the community, what the inmate's future plans are should he be paroled, a report on the inmate’s behavior during his time in prison, among other factors. Both the Vanderschoot family and Bezemer were given the opportunity to speak.
After a six-hour long hearing, the board decided to deny parole for Daniel Bezemer for five years.
“We are pleased with CDCR’s decision to deny parole again for Daniel Bezemer,” said Placer County District Attorney Morgan Gire. “Bezemer planned and carried out the cruel and vicious murder of Justine. He exhibited a frighteningly sophisticated level of deceit and depravity during and after the murder that defies all sense of humanity. A beautiful young life was senselessly taken, leaving a loving family and an entire community devastated. The Vanderschoot family has shown incredible strength and grace throughout this process, and we are honored to fight alongside them for justice for Justine.”
Daniel Bezemer and his roommate Brandon Fernandez were convicted of the strangulation and murder of Justine Vanderschoot in 2003.
His accomplice, Brandon Fernandez, was recently denied parole July 2022 for five years.
In Aug. 2022, the board decided to deny parole for Daniel Bezemer. In Oct. 2022, the Executive Board of the Board of Parole Hearings, a division of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, voted to vacate Daniel Bezemer’s Aug. 10 parole hearing that resulted in him being denied parole.
The vote was made based on a “procedural error” with CDCR stating their recording device was unable to record the entirety of the original hearing. The board then voted to allow Bezemer a new hearing to ensure the recording of the entire hearing.
This is now the fifth hearing the Vanderschoot family has had to experience since the original sentencing. Justine’s family will explain how these hearings are like “ripping off the band aid” every single time they are forced to relive the horrible tragedy through these hearings.
The Placer County District Attorney’s Office’s Lifer Parole Case division has supported the Vanderschoot family through the parole process. Leading into the parole hearing, the Placer County District Attorney’s Office received overwhelming support for the Vanderschoot family. The Justice for Justine educational campaign has received tens of thousands of views, petition signatures, letters to CDCR and more.
Justine’s family has since turned their pain into advocacy. The have worked over the years to educate the community on the risks of teen dating violence. They are currently chairing the Empower + Resilience project, a program designed to empower individuals experiencing the criminal justice system. Through the E+R Project they have sponsored Assembly Bill 1071 which encourages California schools to teach the risk of teen dating violence.
You can learn more about Justine’s story at placer.ca.gov/JusticeforJustine