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Victor McClinton murder generates realignment controversy

Erika Aguilar/KPCC

Victor McClinton's best friend, Danny Bakewell, 46, offers a hug and comforts mourning parents and young adults who knew McClinton or participated in the youth sports league he organized. Hundreds of people have attended vigils and services for the Pasadena man killed in a drive-by shooting on Christmas Day.

On December 25, 2012 in Pasadena, Victor McClinton, a respected youth intervention worker and a longtime L.A. Sheriff's Department employee, died in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting. 

His death - and the way it happened - struck Pasadena hard. McClinton, a Watts native, was  known for taking great care of the kids he coached at The Brotherhood Community Youth Sports League. On Saturday about 500 mourners including L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca turned out for his funeral. 

Prosecutors have charged 20-year-old Larry Darnell Bishop, who police say is a known gang member, with murder and attempted murder in the case. With Bishop's arrest,  McClinton's death became one of several local crimes that have generated questions about the state's prison realignment program.

In an article over the weekend in the Pasadena Star-News, Caroline Aguirre - a retired parole agent who's criticized prison realignment - pointed out that the man police say killed McClinton had three prior felony convictions including one for a July 2011 assault. If AB 109, the state's prison realignment law, were not in effect, she says, Bishop may have been in prison, or at least under the supervision of state parole agents. Either situation, she contends, could potentially have prevented the alleged murder.