A San Diego man sentenced to prison for shooting and killing a San Diego police officer was granted parole suitability by the Board of Parole Hearings Thursday.
Jesus Cecena, 57, was a 17-year-old gang member when he shot and killed Officer Archie Buggs in November 1978. Cecena shot Buggs four times during a traffic stop.
Cecena was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life with no parole, but his term was later modified, giving him a chance at parole under a state law that allows youth offenders serving life sentences to petition for release once they have served at least 15 years.
Cecena will not be paroled without a 150-day review and the approval of the governor.
California Gov. Jerry Brown has rejected parole for Cecena in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
The governor cited Cecena's "resistance to explore the motivations behind the killing."
Cecena has said in the past that he shot the officer because he feared abandonment by his father if he were to receive a traffic ticket and caught with alcohol.