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© Provided by Daily Mail Amy Chesler, 37, drove home after working late to find her teacher mom Hadas Winnick, 55, pictured, dead on the evening of September 25, 2007. She was lying in a pool of her own blood and had a knife sticking out of her throat
A woman whose brother brutally murdered their mom with a kitchen knife after she told him to clean up is worried he will 'manipulate the system' to be freed at his parole hearing next year and come after her.
Amy Chesler, 37, came home after working late as a teacher nearby to find her mom Hadas Winnick, 55, dead on the evening of September 25, 2007. She was lying in a pool of her own blood and had a knife sticking out of her throat.
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Amy's brother Jesse Winnick, then 25, had stabbed the teacher to death after she asked him to clean up after making a sandwich - he killed her with the same knife. He abandoned the car and got into another one and was found later that night and taken into custody.
At his sentencing at Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2011, after a lengthy legal process, Jesse received 15 years to life in prison.
At the time of the murder, Amy said that she and her teacher mom were stuck in an abusive relationship with her brother, who was manipulative and aggressive and had been in prison after they called the police on him multiple times. She explained that her mom always dropped any charges and forgave him.
Amy fears her brother, who is set to have a parole hearing next year and is concerned he could be freed and go after her next, explaining that he has threatened to have her killed. In California, inmates can apply for a parole hearing after serving 85 percent of their sentence - this includes the time they spent in jail before their trial.
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© Provided by Daily Mail Amy's brother Jesse Winnick, then 25, stabbed the teacher to death after she asked him to clean up after making a sandwich- he killed her with the same knife. His sister, then a recent college graduate, aged 22, was teaching near their home. Pictured: The family in happier times
What is the California law on parole?
Eligibility depends on the sentence imposed and if 'good time credit' will be applied. If you were given a specific prison time or determinate sentence, then you are automatically eligible within one year of your Minimum Eligible Parole Date (MEPD).
For those serving life sentences, you must serve the determinate portion of your sentence before becoming eligible though you must persuade the parole board to grant you parole.
If your sentence was 15 years to life, then the 15 years must first be served. Only adult inmates sentenced to life in prison or an indeterminate term with the possibility of parole may have a parole hearing.
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Inmates are allowed to deduct time for good behavior. Under current California law, inmates are now eligible for parole after serving half of their sentence.
You must serve 85% of your sentence before becoming eligible.
In any case under California law, the parole board is required to grant parole unless the prisoner still constitutes a risk to public safety.
This applies even in determinate sentencing cases or where the inmate has garnered good time credit.
Source: Aizman Law
Amy spoke of the night her mom was killed, explaining that her brother had rang her and asked if she wanted to watch Quantum Leap with him, asking when she would be home.
She then received multiple calls from her mom and brother throughout the evening, asking when she would be back.
When Amy last spoke to her mom, she told her that she would not be home for a while and asked if everything was okay. But Hadas said: 'Fine, bye' and hung up.
Amy was driving back to their home in Calabasas, California, located just northwest of Los Angeles, when he told her over the phone: 'Don't come home, I killed mom.' Jesse had taken off in his mom's car after the murder, despite not having a license.
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I did not believe anything that my father was saying. I knew that he was lying to meMy father said we were not to call the police or the FBI. I found it very strange that he quickly began speaking of such things, considering that he had already said my mom wasn't in danger. My parents got married in 1968 and I was born in 1978. I found out that my dad was having an affair when I was 11, as I had met his girlfriend. My mom had found out too, and wanted a divorce. But my father was a rageaholic. I remember, one time, my mother and I were making breakfast.
The 37-year-old said: 'I was still heading home at this point, and I thought it could be a sick joke because Jesse would say things like that all the time, but there was something in the pit of my stomach telling me otherwise.
'I called the police, who told me not to go into the house as the killer might still be there, but I went in anyway to see for myself.
'I found her lying in a large pool of blood. The only part of her body not tainted or disturbed was her leg, so I hugged her leg and then ran out of the house as I remembered what the police had told me.'
Amy is terrified of her brother and said: 'He's tried to have me killed and threatened me over a recorded Zoom parole hearing in 2021, and now he's up for parole again next year.
'I'm absolutely terrified, and I don't understand how someone as awful as him could possibly be getting out so soon. His whole life he's been abetted and aided by the system, which culminated in my mother's murder and now his manipulation of the system.
'It took him four and a half years to get convicted because he manipulated the system by doing things like constantly firing his lawyers to buy more time. He would take medication and then abruptly stop using it close to a trial date, so then it had to be rescheduled because he was deemed mentally unfit.
'He even tried to hire a hitman on me from jail, but the inmate he asked told the police and they came and told me.
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© Provided by Daily Mail When Amy was driving back to their home in Calabasas, Jesse told her over the phone: 'Don't come home, I killed mom.' Jesse had taken off in his mom's car after the murder, despite not having a license. Pictured: Amy and her mom when she was younger
'He was up for parole in 2021, only nine years since his conviction, but he requested to get it moved to what is now next year.
'At the hearing, which was recorded on zoom, he admitted to stabbing 90 more people in jail, and threatened me, saying he knew where I lived with my two children.
'And yet, he asked to be moved to a different prison, and they just let him, and I'm worried they'll let him out next year.
'People like my brother need to be spoken about so we can find discrepancies on how and how people like him are being empowered by the system.' © Provided by Daily Mail He abandoned the car and got into another one and was found later that night and taken into custody. At his sentencing at Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2011, after a lengthy legal process, Jesse received 15 years to life in prison. Pictured: Hadas Winnick
Amy, a writer, said: 'My mom was an incredible person. All the work I do every day helps to perpetrate what she would have done and what she did throughout her life.
'She was the best person I knew, her moral compass was so finely tuned and she was a source of light, my best friend.
'But she had boundaries. She was very good at that with everyone except my brother - which I don't blame her for, we had no means of help available to get us out of that situation.
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'When I found her on the night he killed her, it was awful. It was the worst thing I've ever seen.
'The emotional impact has been immense. It changed my life trajectory completely.
'The past year has been extremely traumatic in terms of my brother. I haven't been able to heal because the system hasn't allowed me to.' © Provided by Daily Mail At the time of the murder, Amy said that she and her mom were stuck in an abusive relationship with her brother, who was manipulative and aggressive and had been in prison after they called the police on him. She explained that her mom always dropped any charges and forgave him. Pictured: Amy now © Provided by Daily Mail Amy, pictured, is terrified of her brother, who is set to have a parole hearing next year. In California, inmates can apply for a parole hearing after serving 85 percent of their sentence. This includes the time they spent in jail before their trial
Amy has written a book on her mother's case and said that the discourse around 'true crime' needs to shift, to stop enabling killers like her brother.
She said: 'Grief is not linear, and it's forever. It's even generational, my children have been affected by what happened and are in therapy.
'I've had so many people write to me or contact me to say they're fearful of their sons doing this, and that hearing this story may have saved their life.
'I want to help people heal within a space where the true crime genre is so prevalent, and when there's podcasts named 'My Favourite Murder' out there, glorifying it, it's really hard.
'Me and my mom were massive fans of the true crime genre, but it needs to be more sensitive and highlight the victims rather than the perpetrators.
'The day of her murder, September 25th, is now the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims, which is really extraordinary and means I can mourn my mother with other who have also lost loved ones to murder.
'The more we share, the more we connect, and I don't think my mom would mind being an example to make the world a better place.'Read more
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