Petition update

The Last Stand: Justice for Debra Marie BlackCrow

Shantel Haynes
Las Vegas, NV, United States

Nov 3, 2020 — 

As you all know, November 13, 2020 is the tentative release date for Samara and Debra Marie BlackCrow's murderer, Rodney Patrick McNeal.  After a parole is granted it usually takes about 120 day before an inmate is released to allow time to appeal the verdict with the Governor.  Well, they only gave me 24 days!

I gathered up all of my information, rallied all of my Advocates and State Representatives who believe in Justice for a Domestic Violence Victim and an Indigenous Woman then emailed Governor Gavin Newsom to set up a meeting.  Below is the response I got for my email:

From: Shantel
Sent: Sunday, November 1, 2020 4:09 PM
To: Eliza

Subject: Fwd: Revoking the Commuted Sentence for Rodney Patrick McNeal P80613



Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary

Office of Governor Gavin Newson


RE: Reversing the Parole Grant for Rodney Patrick McNeal P80613


My name is Shantel Denay Haynes.  I am the daughter of Debra Marie BlackCrow McNeal.  Debra was the pregnant wife of Probation Officer Rodney Patrick McNeal whom he viciously murdered in 1997.  Ultimately, two consecutive terms of 15 - 30 years were handed down by a jury of his peers in 2000.


The Commutation of the Sentence that Governor Gavin Newsom granted to Rodney was determined on misinformation provided by the California Innocence Project.  Rodney still had 8 years left on his Mandatory Sentence of Two Consecutive Terms of 15 - 30 before he reached the mandatory 30 years.  He was 27 yrs 5 mos and 9 days old when he took the life of his wife and unborn daughter so he was not close to being considered for the Juvenile/Youth Offender Law amendment in 2018.  I also was informed that the DA of San Bernardino, Jason Anderson, Denied the Commuted Sentence Request.  During the Parole hearing on September 3, 2020, Rodney never took ownership for the double murder nor showed any remorse to his actions leading up to the murder.  He acknowledged the fact that he was committing insurance fraud while being a Probation Officer and was selling heroin while isolated from the general population in prison.  He also admitted to having cell phones during the same time that his Facebook page was active.  This resulted in a RARE SPLIT DECISION by the parole board.  I have countless witnesses to his actions: before the murder, the day of the murder, after the murder leading up to his arrest and after his conviction.  


Unfortunately, on October 20, 2020, in the middle of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Executive Parole Board decided to grant parole.  Although the Governor stated that "his positive conduct in prison and his good prospects for a successful community reentry" was also a reason for your granted commuted sentence, you were not informed of all the cultural and social factors at play for keeping Rodney in prison to serve out the remainder of his sentence or at least the duration of his Mandatory Minimum of 30 years. 


In late August 2020, we spoke in regards to setting up a meeting with the Governor, my Native community encompassing a Tribal Chairmen, a Tribal President and the creator of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women USA (MMIW), Victim and Domestic Violence Advocates as well as a few South Dakota State Legislators in regards to Reversing the Parole Grant.  I have enclosed letters from the following who would like to set up a meeting with the Governor to discuss in further as to why this commutation was granted and to come to an agreement on the course of action with reversing his parole:


Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

Tamara StJohn District 1 South Dakota House of Representative

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women USA Petition

SHERO Foundation

My Letter to the Previous Governor Jerry Brown Jr

My Current Letter to Gavin Newsom


In closing, based on the severity of the case with it being 2 counts of murder and with his history of Domestic Violence and Insurance Fraud, Debra’s Family, Two of Rodney’s Nieces, the Las Vegas and California Residences, Domestic Violence Advocates and all of the Native American Communities are upset.  Since this case is not a part of the COVID commuted sentences, this case should not have been rushed from the standard 120 days to less than 30 days.  The 120 day standard would have allowed time for my Native American community and other advocates to request a true investigation of the facts behind his case so that it can be reviewed thoroughly.


Since his release date is set for November 13, 2020, please respond back ASAP with a meeting date.



Shantel D Haynes


Here is her response:

RE: Revoking the Commuted Sentence for Rodney Patrick McNeal P80613

From Eliza

Mon, Nov 2, 2020 at 2:55 PM
To: Shantel 

Dear Ms. Haynes,

Thank you very much for writing about this case. I will confer with the team and be in touch to set up a meeting.

Many thanks,


Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary

Office of Governor Gavin Newsom


Let's see if they follow through and set up this meeting. 

We are that much closer guys!!  The CIP may have sent 76 letters on behalf of Rodney to be released but with our petition we sent 24 PAGES with 291 INDIVIDUAL COMMENTS and 309 PAGES of over 6,500 SIGNATURES.   We are making noise 100%.    

#MMIW #Indigenous #DomesticViolenceAwarenessMonth #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth #JusticeForDebraBlackCrow 

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