John O'Friel, shown reading to four of his children, was beaten to death in July 1993 in a Davis park. His killer was denied parole last week. Courtesy photo

Crime, Fire + Courts

Parole denied for killer in 1993 Davis murder

By From page A3 | February 02, 2014

A former San Francisco man who has served two decades of a life prison sentence was denied parole for another seven years last week, the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Timothy Wilson, now 43, was convicted of second-degree murder in connection with the July 8, 1993, beating death of Bay Area software salesman John O’Friel, a married father of seven who had been drinking beer with Wilson and a Davis teen, Josh Coleman, at a Davis park.

Wilson then dumped O’Friel’s body in rural Yolo County before he and Coleman took the victim’s car and belongings to San Francisco, where Wilson had been living at the time.

In addition to Wilson’s conviction for second-degree murder, a jury found Coleman guilty of involuntary manslaughter at the pair’s 1994 trial.

O’Friel’s widow, Carol, and five of the couple’s children attended last Wednesday’s parole hearing at California State Prison, Solano, which lasted six hours and did not conclude until 11:30 p.m., according to the DA’s office. It was Wilson’s third attempt at parole.

Joining O’Friel’s family in opposing Wilson’s release was Yolo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven, who told the panel of parole commissioners that Wilson still does not take full responsibility for the murder and continues to pose a threat to public safety.

Commissioner Marisela Montes and Deputy Commissioner Ted Rich agreed, denying Wilson parole after an hour of deliberations.

“You savagely beat him to death so the victim’s body was defiled so that his face had to be veiled at his funeral,” Montes told Wilson while reading the panel’s decision, according to the DA’s office. “Nobody should have to leave the world in that fashion.”

Wilson will be eligible for parole again in January 2021.

Lauren Keene

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