In a shocking move, parole was recommended for Carlsbad champion skateboarder turned murderer, Mark “Gator” Rogowski, 53, during a hearing last week at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, KGTV-TV reported.
In 1991, Rogowski confessed to raping and killing 22-year-old Jessica Bergsten at his Carlsbad home. He received a 31-year to life prison sentence: six years for forcible rape and 25 years to life for the first-degree murder.
“I’m disgusted with what I did. I think about it every day,” the 80s skate legend told the parole panel. “I took everything from that poor family. They have every right to be angry with me. I want to make it go away but I can’t.”
The panel’s decision is based on Rogowski’s remorse, clean disciplinary record, and a controversial new law that is more forgiving to “youthful offenders,” or people who commit heinous crimes before 26 years old. Bergsten’s father and the San Diego County district attorney’s office aren’t having it, and rightfully so.
“The pain never goes away,” Stephen Bergsten told the panel. “This inmate received a life sentence, but he imposed a death sentence upon Jessica and our family.”
“We think he still poses a threat, especially to women,” Supervising Deputy District Attorney Richard Sachs added. “When someone does something as horrible as this, it shocks the conscience that they would be granted parole.”
The state has 120 days to finalize the panel’s recommendation, then, the case would go before Governor Gavin Newsom for review.