The late state Sen. Paul Carpenter’s son-in-law was denied parole Tuesday for his wife’s August 2001 killing.
Bruce Koklich, now 62, was convicted in October 2003 of second-degree murder for the death of Jana Carpenter Koklich, 41, with whom he shared a real estate office in Long Beach.
The woman’s Nissan Pathfinder — which contained some of her blood — was found in August 2001, but her body was not found. It’s unclear whether her body has been discovered since then.
Koklich, who lived with his wife in Lakewood, was charged in January 2002 with her murder.
He is serving a 15-year-to-life state prison sentence.
Koklich was previously denied parole in 2018 and 2020, according to records from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Before his death, Carpenter — a Democrat from Cypress — publicly accused his son-in-law of killing Jana.
Koklich testified during his first trial, calling his wife “the love of my life” and saying the two had an “excellent” marriage. He acknowledged being unfaithful to her with women he met at massage parlors, but denied having anything to do with her death.
Koklich’s first trial ended in a 7-5 deadlock in March 2003, but a second jury found him guilty of second-degree murder.
At her son-in-law’s sentencing in 2004, the victim’s mother, Janeth Carpenter, said there were “no words to describe the loneliness I feel without Jana’s presence in my life.”
“You can’t imagine what a shock it was to me when Jana disappeared,” she said of her only child.
“I didn’t want to believe, at first, that the defendant had anything to do with her disappearance, but it soon became apparent that he was responsible. My life has been completely turned upside down by the loss of Jana,” she said then.
The victim’s mother said it “is devastating not to know what Jana’s final hours were like, not to know if she suffered. Before she died, did she realize that her husband was committing the ultimate betrayal?”
The woman said Jana had always promised to take care of her when she got old. “It is especially devastating not to know where her body is, so that we could have the comfort of a final goodbye to her,” she said then.
Jana Koklich is featured on the website The Charley Project, which lists people who have been missing for at least a year.
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