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Parole Granted For Man Who Was 14 When He Killed Student in San Diego

November 29, 2018 1:35 p.m.

Parole Granted For Man Who Was 14 When He Killed Student in San Diego

GUEST:

Ples Felix, Tony Hicks' grandfather

Related Story: Parole Granted For Man Who Was 14 When He Killed Student in San Diego

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

Parole has been granted to Tony Hicks who served 24 years for the murder of Tariq Kahmisa in San Diego back in 1995 the murder and its aftermath created an unlikely bond between Tariq father and Tony Hicks grandfather. Together they became the center of the Tariqu Kahmisa foundation dedicated to steering kids away from gangs and violence. Terry ix. father Azeem Kahmisa was at Wednesday's parole hearing and said he was elated at the result. TONY Hicks was a 14 year old gang member at the time of the shooting. He became one of the youngest offenders charged as an adult and sentenced to 25 years to life.

Now he's a 38 year old man who was on track to be given a second chance. Joining me is Tony Hicks grandfather plez Felix unpleased welcome to the show.

Thank you very much. Glad to be with you.

Now I heard there were many tears of joy shed in the courtroom when the parole board made its decision.

I'm still up above the ground right now with emotion about the the outcome of the decisions being made. We were all very hopeful very prayerful but we had no idea how it might turn out. We were hoping for the best. All of us. I'm sure the whole room was joined at the point of the season being presented. There was a there was an audible gasp. There was an audible.

I think it was hard for us to kind of maintain our our to not stand up and cheer but we maintain the decorum of the room and try to be properly appropriate for the setting as possible. But it was it was quite an exciting time and I know that all of us overwhelmed about the prospect of Tony coming out and joining us and the three camisa foundation saving children's lives.

Was Tony emotional too.

Oh gee whiz. Tony was emotional throughout the entire proceeding. And it actually reflected his true heart and true feeling and to experience about the journey that he's been on all these years since he married when he was only a 14 year old boy and was sent to prison at age 16. So for him the entire hearing experience was one filled with emotion. And it was driven by his sincere intention to express himself very clearly very honestly and certainly with all the integrity he could muster about the changes and the improvements and his preparedness for coming out of prison and joining us in society and working with them.

Can you share with us some of the things your grandson told the members of the parole board.

I can share that with all of the clarity that my grandson could muster. He he once again apologized and sought forgiveness and expressed gratitude for the forgiveness extended by the camisa family for. Tarek and he expressed his condolences and took responsibility for some of the ripple effect that took place after he murdered Tarik specifically addressing the suicide tarts fiance committed sometime after Topix death. And that has affected Toni as well because he understood that there was a concentric circle of trauma and damage and harm done by his single act of shooting and killing time.

That affected much more than just Tarik and he it affected the state of the time soundly that that Tony's family the fact that the community. So Tony withdrew very very specifically apologizing to each and every member of that his act affected and traumatized and then he certainly expressed his commitment to work very hard to receive the support of the community certainly coming out of his family coming out of the foundation and certainly community members and accepting that support to see to it that he stays focused he stays healthy and he stays working hard to become a contributing member of society and particularly that he really wants to work with children in a way that prevents them from being on the path and committing the kind of behavior he was committed to at age 14.

And what happens now. What's the procedure that needs to be followed before Tony is released from prison.

Well my understanding is that now the the parole board will submit all of its findings the paperwork for Tony's parole. They have within 120 days to finalize his release. And then of course at some point when he is released he'll be released to San Diego County to one of the transitionary housing programs to have the San Diego County. He will be assigned a parole officer to whom he will have to be responsive on a daily basis if not a momentarily moment to moment basis but that will be his center point of focus and attention his parole officer being in the transitional housing setting until the parole officer feels as though Tony is proper to transition into kind of living with me because that's where I anticipated Tony will be living with me in San Diego County where I live and let that transition takes place.

Then we will see how we are able to cooperate. Tony slowly but surely into presenting on behalf of the camisa foundation in front of children because we know that there are many children who have many questions of Tony and they would like to have answers directly from him. He has actually set up and has been engaging with the tree Fondation and responding to some of the letters and inquiry that children have raised with him saw. He's been working with Tessmann Camisa and setting up an opportunity to communicate with children. So we anticipate that that communication will continue once he's released from prison more personally more upfront more in person with Mr. Camisa and that can be his foundation and doing our assemblies at schools all over the county and certainly we'd like to be able to see to it that much Tony's able to get permission to leave the state that we can do programs in other parts of the country as well.

Of course incoming Governor Gavin Newsom has to sign off on this parole. Do you have any idea how he feels about this case.

No I I have no idea about the incoming governor's thoughts about this case. I totally understand that. Like Governor Brown Gavin Newsom is a person who is very people oriented. He's very community oriented. And I've always preceded him to be a person who is supportive of peaceful efforts on behalf of our community on behalf of our community. And I would think that given the work that can be said foundation does our communities and having Tony as an additional asset in the organization working with children I would think that Gavin Newsom would be in support of that.

I've been speaking with Felix about the parole granted to his grandson Tony Hicks plez. Thank you very much.

Thank you very much. Thank you so much.