Wednesday, 12 June 2024

State officials conduct their own investigation into Oliver case

LAKEPORT – State officials are conducting their own investigations into the activities of a parolee who is accused of a Nov. 20 murder in Lakeport.

Construction worker Ivan Garcia Oliver, 29, is facing a murder charge for the Nov. 20 death of 67-year-old Michael Dodele at the Western Hills Mobile Home Park in Lakeport.

A week after Dodele's murder, Oliver and his half-brother were indicted on federal charges for a March 2005 hazardous dumping case in San Diego County, as Lake County News previously reported.

Oliver was on parole at the time of both alleged incidents, which has triggered a state parole investigation into alleged parole violations, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

That investigation, in turn, has revealed more information about Oliver's background and whereabouts in the last few years, up until days before the murder.

Oliver was sent to prison in July 2003 after being convicted of assault with force causing great bodily injury, according to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation records. Those records did not include specific information on the offense or what kind of weapon, if any, Oliver may have used.

Although he was sentenced to four years in prison, Oliver was released on parole in February of 2005, said Jerome Marsh, a state parole spokesman for Region 4, which covers Southern California counties including San Diego, where Oliver was convicted of the crime.

Marsh said Oliver was released from the California Rehabilitation Center, a medium-level facility in Norco.

Oliver was required to make monthly reports to the El Cajon parole office, said Marsh. His parole was due to end next February.

Marsh said Oliver had been making those monthly reports; in fact, he last reported, in person, to the El Cajon office on Nov. 13, exactly one week to the day before the Dodele murder.

Oliver's last legal residence was in San Diego County, said Marsh. According to the terms of his parole, Oliver wasn't supposed to travel 50 miles from his residence or leave San Diego County without permission.

Oliver's arrest in Lake County, where he wasn't cleared to be, triggered a parole violation charge, said Marsh.

Marsh said Oliver signed an “optional waiver” on Tuesday, which says he agrees to accept a 12-month sanction making him ineligible for parole. If he's released on the murder charge, Oliver could request a parole violation hearing on the matter, Marsh added.

Parole violations only bring, at most, 12 months back in prison, said Marsh, although in Oliver's case it's a moot point because he's being held for Dodele's murder.

As to what Oliver was doing in Lake County in violation of his parole, Marsh said parole officials are investigating the matter. In particular, they suspect he may have been coming and going between San Diego and Lake counties for some time, since he had a residence at the Western Hills Mobile Home Park in Lakeport. That's where he was arrested after Dodele's stabbing death.

“It's not uncommon for parolees to want to play the address game,” said Marsh.

With Oliver accused of the hazardous dumping charge in March 2005 – just a month after his release from prison – Marsh said parole officials are now investigating that as a parole violation as well. “We'll be submitting the hazardous waste incident as a supplemental charge.”

The materials Oliver and his half-brother allegedly dumped were large quantities of acrylic paint that contained toluene, according to court documents. Toluene is a highly toxic solvent reportedly used in methamphetamine manufacture.

Asked if the materials were being used to make meth, Marsh said, “That's the first thing that always crosses our mind.”

While Marsh said there is no evidence at this point to indicate that meth manufacture was involved, “Our suspicions generally go in that direction and most of the time we're right.”

District Attorney addresses speculation

Oliver's case has received growing attention because of reports that he attacked Dodele because of Dodele's listing on the state's Megan's Law Web site.

Dodele was convicted in Sonoma County in 1988 of rape and oral copulation, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff, who issued a statement on the case in an effort to clear up speculation that Dodele was attacked because of the Megan's Law listing.

Not all of those listed on the Megan's Law Web site were convicted of offenses involving children. Such was the case with Dodele, according to Hinchcliff.

However, the Megan's Law listing – which was taken down Nov. 26 by the California Attorney General's Office – listed Dodele's offenses as 261(2), “rape by force,” and 288a(c), “oral copulation with person under 14/etc. or by force/etc.”

Explaining the ambiguous wording on the second charge, Hinchcliff said that 288a(c) can be violated in one of three ways: by performing the act on a person who is under 14 years of age and who is more than 10 years younger than the suspect; when the act is accomplished against the victim’s will by means of force or violence; or when the act is accomplished against the victim’s will by threat to retaliate against the victim or another person.

Hinchcliff said he obtained information from Lake County Sheriff's investigators that confirmed that Dodele's charge involved a 37-year-old woman.

“We have no information or evidence that Michael Dodele was ever arrested for, accused of, or convicted of a crime involving child molestation or child sexual assault,” said Hinchcliff.

Hinchcliff said Oliver will be in court on Jan. 7, 2008. At that time a preliminary hearing is expected to be scheduled.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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