Sirhan Sirhan, the man convicted of assassinating Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, was again denied parole Wednesday – more than a year after California’s governor shut down an earlier recommendation that he be released.
California’s Board of Parole Hearings decided Wednesday to deny Sirhan parole for three years, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation told CNN.
Wednesday’s proceeding was Sirhan’s 17th parole suitability hearing, Tessa Outhyse, a spokesperson for the corrections department, said. In August 2021, after 15 denials, the board had recommended Sirhan’s parole, but that was denied by the governor in January 2022.
The department cannot comment on the reasons for the board’s Wednesday decision, but a copy of the hearing’s transcript will be available in a few weeks, Outhyse said.
CNN has sought comment from Sirhan’s attorney.
Sirhan shot Kennedy in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, following a campaign event in which Kennedy celebrated primary victories in his run for the Democratic nomination for president in 1968.
Originally sentenced to death, Sirhan – 24 at the time of the shooting – received a commuted sentence of life in prison in 1972.
Sirhan, now 78, will remain at R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego, Outhyse said.
Kennedy was a leading presidential contender when killed
In 1968, the 42-year-old Kennedy, younger brother of the assassinated President John F. Kennedy, was a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination against Vice President Hubert Humphrey and Sen. Eugene McCarthy.
On June 5, the night of his assassination, Kennedy had just appeared on live television in an Ambassador Hotel ballroom, where he had claimed victory over McCarthy in the California primary election. Moments later, he was fatally wounded in the hotel service pantry while on his way to a news conference set for a small banquet room just beyond the pantry. The shooting in the pantry was not captured by any cameras.
Sirhan was convicted of killing Kennedy and wounding five other people.
Three bullets struck Kennedy’s body while a fourth bullet passed harmlessly through the shoulder of his suit coat. Kennedy died the next day.
CNN’s Ray Sanchez and Cheri Mossburg contributed to this report.