Kevin Cooper murdered a mother, a father, and two children, in their home in Chino Hills in June of 1983. A fifth victim, who was also a child, survived. Mr. Cooper was found guilty and rightfully sentenced for his heinous crimes.

Today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to launch an independent investigation into Mr. Cooper’s case, as part of Cooper’s application for clemency. You can view this executive order here.

The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office disagrees with the governor’s decision to refer Kevin Cooper’s conviction to special counsel. We are not aware of any authority that allows for a review outside of the judicial branch of a capital case wherein every judicial actor with decision making authority for the past 38 years has determined that Kevin Cooper is guilty of the murders of Doug, Peggy, and Jessica Ryen, Christopher Hughes and the attempted murder of Josh Ryen. The Executive Branch is not free to ignore the outcomes of numerous prior judicial reviews.

A jury, judge, the California Supreme Court, and every reviewing state and federal court have concluded that Cooper is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. DNA evidence and scientific tests that Cooper requested for the past 38 years have confirmed Cooper’s guilt. The governor and any other counsel should follow the facts, law, and science and finally conclude what everyone else has in this case: Kevin Cooper murdered a family and a neighboring child in the family’s home.

In March of 2021, District Attorney Jason Anderson sent a letter to Governor Newsom regarding this case, which can be read here.

To read the full news release from Governor Newsom’s office announcing this investigation, click here.