Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward has announced murder charges against Tulare County resident Barry Dantzler, 30, in the deaths of two Tulare County women in separate incidents on May 26 and May 29.
Dantzler is charged with two counts of murder. Count 1 is enhanced with special circumstances that the murder was committed during the commission of a robbery and that multiple murders were committed, and special allegations that the murder was committed during the commission of a burglary, use of a deadly weapon, that he was on parole for a serious or violent felony, and that he possesses prior strikes. Count 2 is enhanced with special allegations that he was on parole for a serious or violent felony, and that he possesses prior strikes.
Dantzler possesses prior strikes for criminal threats in 2011 and three attempted robberies in 2013 which also included being a felon in possession of ammunition, and a firearm. Dantzler was sentenced to nine years in state prison for both cases and released on parole in 2018. Shortly after being released, Dantzler committed another felony offense and failed to appear at his June 2019 sentencing. In August of that year, Dantzler was charged with felony evading and hit and run causing injury.
After being in custody since August 2019, Dantzler pleaded no contest to the felony evading and hit and run causing injury charges on February 25. At the plea, Dantzler requested a Cruz Waiver over the objection of the prosecutor. The court granted the waiver, which allows the defendant to leave custody until time of sentencing on the condition the court can change the indicated sentence if the defendant fails to appear at sentencing. In this case, Dantzler was facing an indicated term of 3 years, 4 months in prison.
At the time of the murders, Dantzler was considered a parolee-at-large and was in violation of his Cruz Waiver terms, as he had not contacted parole and county probation.
“My heart breaks for the victims, their families, and their friends in this tragic series of events,” Ward said. “This office has vehemently opposed early release of violent criminals by our courts. Unfortunately, the worst-case scenario has occurred and left two families broken and a community in shock. This office will not relent in opposing early release and seeking justice for victims.”
Dantzler was scheduled to be arraigned at the county pre-trial facility ton Tuesday where a new court date was scheduled to be set. If convicted, Dantzler faces the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Dantzler is accused of killing 37-year-old Heather Sloan and 44-year-old Heather Maciel
Visalia Police stated they believe Dantzler killing Sloan on May 26. On May 29, Visalia Police tracked down Dantzler at a Motel 6 in Tulare. A chase ensued and Dantzler is accused of losing control of his car which it a utility pole, causing the vehicle to roll over which then hit Maciel, who was on a bike.