PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) – A man convicted for his role in the murder of a Placer County teen 14 years ago has been denied parole.
Brandon Fernandez, then 21, was given 15 years to life after he and his roommate, who was also Justine’s boyfriend, Danny Bezemer, then 18, were sentenced to 25 years to life in the killing of Vanderschoot in 2003. Both were given the possibility of parole.
The victim’s family told the Placer County Sheriff’s Department that Friday’s hearing lasted six hours, and when it was over, five years were added to Fernandez’s sentence. He’s able to appeal once every three years.
“Thank you again for everyone’s support, love and prayers,” wrote Christine Vanderschoot, Justine’s sister.
In 2003, the two tapped Justine’s phone and discovered she may have been considering breaking up with Bezemer. They then strangled her and buried her alive in Applegate. Her body was found two weeks later.
Justine’s older sister Christine said Fernandez was the driving force behind the murder.
“Danny was a little soft. He was a follower, he wasn’t leader. Whereas Brandon, yes, he was a leader and he could get people to follow him,” Christine told CBS13 back in August. “We really do believe he was the number one plotter and planner behind the events that happened.”
The family told CBS13 Keeping Fernandez locked up is the only real justice they’ll ever get.