Man who dismembered roommate 20 years ago could be placed in skilled nursing facility in Tulare Co

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This story contains graphic information.

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — The California Parole Board recommended a convicted murder who dismembered his roommate 20 years ago to be placed in a skilled nursing facility, most likely in Tulare County, according to the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office.

Jerry McKiearnan, 72, is currently serving a life sentence at the California Health Care Facility in Stockton and is not eligible for parole until 2026.

“I’ve been a prosecutor for a long time, but the crime scene photos prosecutors reviewed in preparing to argue against the defendant’s placement were some of the most horrific I have ever seen,” said District Attorney Tim Ward.

“The proper placement for the defendant is behind prison walls and not back in our community or any other community in California.”

On December 29, 1999, the Visalia Police Department dispatch received an anonymous call that alleged McKiearnan had stabbed his roommate to death in their apartment.

The district attorney’s office says that when officers arrived at the apartment, they found McKiearnan lying on the bed in one of the bedrooms. Officers immediately took him into custody and began a search of the home.

In a separate bedroom closet, officers discovered several plastic bags containing various dismembered body parts – a decapitated head, hands, legs below the knee, and torso. A knife and a hacksaw bearing McKiearnan’s fingerprints were found in the closet with the body parts.

The coroner examined the remains and determined the victim was stabbed 42 times.

It was estimated the victim was killed five to six days before he was discovered.

The anonymous caller was revealed to be a friend of McKiearnan who regularly did heroin with him and to whom McKiearnan admitted the crime.

In late 2000, McKiearnan was found guilty of first-degree murder with the use of a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 26 years-to-life in prison.

McKiearnan possesses numerous felony and misdemeanor convictions for possession of a controlled substance dating back to 1974.

The district attorney says conditions of his release to a facility include GPS monitoring, not leaving the facility without written approval, alcohol and drug testing, medical evaluations, and no weapons.

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