Parole agency claims suspect was supervised

The owners of a residential hotel where an accused killer was living were not notified of his status, but a parole agent said all protocol was followed, including visits to the site.

Gary Scott Holland, 43, allegedly posed as a utility worker checking for a gas leak at the apartment building at 900 Chestnut St. on the evening of Oct. 29. Once inside the building, police say, he knocked on the door of Kate Horan, 46, was allowed in and murdered her.

The San Francisco Examiner reported that the hotel owners never saw a parole officer visit the high-risk violent offender, and they were not informed that a parolee lived there.

While the owners, John Falxa and his mother, stand by their story, officials with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said everything was done by the book.

Holland’s parole agent met with the parolee three times at the Castro Hotel, at 705 Vallejo St., according to department spokesman Luis Patino. Each time, the agent made contact with a hotel employee.

The last time his parole agent visited the hotel was eight days before Horan was killed. On that day, Holland submitted to a drug test, which came out clean, Patino said.

As conditions of his release, Holland was not allowed to drink alcohol and was required to submit to drug tests. A bag of syringes was found in his room, and he drank alcohol occasionally, according to Falxa, who works at the hotel six days a week.

While it is common for parole agents to work with government-funded residential hotels, the practice of notifying the owner of a private hotel is a murky legal area, according to Scott Silverman, who runs Second Chance, a San Diego-based nonprofit that helps former inmates find housing and work.

Although parolees give up their rights to unlawful search and seizure, they are still protected by discrimination laws. Whether the owner has a right to know if a tenant is a parolee is unclear, he said.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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