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Ex-Santa Rosa man denied parole in 1991 slaying

A former Santa Rosa man who is serving a potential life sentence for the 1991 slaying of Cloverdale's "ice cream man" was denied his recent bid to win release from the state Board of Parole Hearings, the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office said.

Fidencio Equivel Chavez Jr., 50, was sentenced to 26-years-to-life in the August 1991 stabbing death of Santa Rosa resident Frank Tassara, a widower known around Cloverdale for dispensing frozen treats from his ice cream truck.

Tassara, 62, had his throat slashed and suffered 27 other knife wounds as a result of the assault that resulted in his death, authorities said. He was found buried in a shallow grave on a Cloverdale-area ranch managed by Chavez's father after a hot air balloonist who landed there stumbled on a blood-soaked jacket.

Chavez, an acquaintance, was arrested, tried and convicted of first-degree murder in the case.

During his Sept. 12 parole hearing, Deputy District Attorney Keith Shaw argued that Chavez continued to "pose an unreasonable risk of harm to the community" if released, his office said.

Family members of the victim also spoke about their loss.

Chavez will not be eligible for parole for another five years, the District Attorney's Office said.


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