Family of woman killed in Ione stabbing rampage demanding change to justice system

IONE — An Amador County family is demanding change to the justice system after their loved one was killed during a stabbing rampage in Ione. She was one of three people police said were attacked Monday by a man who was on parole for attempted murder.

The family of the victim who died spoke with the media on Tuesday and identified their loved one as 63-year-old Lori Owens. They said she was a grandmother, mother, wife and friend.

Ione Police Chief John Alfred also spoke with the media on Tuesday and made a correction that the suspect, Joseph Jenkins, was on parole for attempted murder, not murder, as was originally said on Monday.

Lori’s family wants an investigation of both his release and the handling of his supervision in Ione.

“The main crime that has been committed here is the justice system,” said Lori’s son-in-law, James Grubbs. “It failed Lori and it failed all of us.”

Owens was violently attacked while at her home on Shakeley Lane on Monday. CBS13 revisited the crime scene where the front window of the house was boarded up and blood stains were on the door.

“Lori may have lost her life yesterday, but we want to make sure this tragedy is used to save other lives,” Grubbs said.

Jenkins is a man with a lengthy criminal record who many people in Ione are familiar with.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) said Jenkins was sentenced to three years for battery with serious injury in 2011. He was then sentenced to 14 years for attempted murder as a second strike in 2012.

After serving his full sentence as defined by law, Jenkins was paroled to the Department of State Hospitals (DSH) in February 2023.
On June 30, Jenkins was released from DSH to Orange County to address two misdemeanor charges from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department from December 2012.

The CDCR said Jenkins pleaded guilty to charges of battery and assault on a peace officer or emergency personnel. He was sentenced to eight days in county jail and given credit for time served.

Jenkins reported to the Division of Adult Parole Operations on July 6 and made his return to Ione then, according to Chief Alfred.

“It still appears to be a random act of violence,” Chief Alfred said.

Police had gotten two calls for service about Jenkins since his return to Ione this year, one in early September and one just three days before the stabbing rampage.

“Unfortunately, it is not illegal for someone to sit in a park and watch people,” Chief Alfred said.

Police said the attacks started on Violet Street, where a man in his 20s was stabbed. He was taken to an area hospital and is expected to survive. Neighbors described him as a kind, young man who never caused trouble.

A creek just feet from the home of the first victim was the possible path of the suspect who then headed to Shakeley Lane. Before getting there, police said he stabbed a PG&E worker in his 40s who was working on a driveway.

Chief Alfred said this second victim has been treated and released from the hospital.

“It’s a small town,” said one neighbor who did not want to be identified. “A quiet little street and it was upside down yesterday.”

Lori’s family wants answers as to why Jenkins was allowed to roam the streets with his criminal record.

“Allowing convicted attempted murderers or mentally ill criminals to be released from prison with zero supervision as a transient is completely unacceptable,” Grubbs said.

During the press conference, Grubbs also called out the attorney general and California governor, saying they need to do more to protect citizens and change the justice system.

“Allowing convicted attempted murderers or mentally ill criminals to be released from prison with zero supervision as a transient is completely unacceptable,” Grubbs said. “She was stolen from us because of the negligence and incompetence of a failed justice system.”

Lori’s family has created a GoFundMe for her and is asking for the community’s help as they seek justice for her.

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