DA Opposes Parole for Woman Involved in 1988 Robbery-Murder


Ryoko Hanano was killed and her husband was paralyzed.

SANTA ANA — The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) said Wednesday it is opposing the parole of an inmate convicted of the special circumstances shooting murder of a woman and permanently injuring the victim’s husband during a robbery.

Nanette Marie Scheid, 54, is currently being held at the California Institute for Women in Corona. She was convicted on Jan. 28, 1991 of one felony count of first-degree murder, two felony counts of first-degree robbery, and one felony count of attempted robbery, and sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison.

In 1993, the Court of Appeal granted a new trial for Scheid, on the basis that she should have been tried separately from her co-defendants. She was again found guilty on retrial by a second jury on Sept. 20, 1994.

A second appeal was granted in 1996 on the ground that the trial court had improperly permitted the prosecution to introduce an irrelevant and prejudicial piece of evidence — a single crime-scene photograph. The Supreme Court of California reversed the Court of Appeal ruling and upheld Scheid’s conviction on July 17, 1997, finding that the admission of the evidence was proper.

Scheid was scheduled for a parole hearing on Thursday at 1 p.m. at the prison before the Board of Parole Hearings, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. This case was originally prosecuted by then Senior Deputy District Attorney Bryan Brown.

Deputy District Attorney Heidi Garrel will be attending the hearing to oppose Scheid’s parole.

During the summer of 1988, Ryoko Hanano, 60, and her husband Kazumi Hanano, 62, advertised their 1984 Corvette for sale. In early July, Scheid contacted Mr. Hanano by telephone to inquire about the car and called again on July 10, 1988, to obtain directions to his home. Later that day, Scheid appeared at the Hananos’ residence in Anaheim.

Scheid informed Mr. Hanano that her boyfriend, Robert Clarence Taylor, had received an insurance settlement and planned to use the proceeds to purchase her a Corvette. After test-driving the car, Scheid promised to return with her boyfriend.

At approximately 8:15 p.m. on July 10, Scheid returned to the Hananos’ home with Taylor and his friend, Norman James DeWitt. Scheid carried a briefcase into the home and waited with DeWitt and the victim while Taylor went on a test drive with Kazumi Hanano. When they returned from the test drive, Taylor and Kazumi Hanano negotiated the sale of the vehicle for $1,500. As Mr. Hanano signed the pink slip, Scheid left the residence.

Shortly after Scheid left the Hananos’ home, Taylor produced two firearms from the briefcase and gave one to DeWitt, who also had a set of handcuffs. The defendants forced the couple into their bedroom, where they were made to kneel by the bed, and handcuffed on the floor.

After closing the bedroom window and shoving the couples’ heads between the mattress and box spring, Taylor shot Ryoko and Kazumi Hanano multiple times. Ryoko Hanano was killed and Kazumi Hanano was paralyzed from the chest down. Taylor and DeWitt took Mr. Hanano’s wallet and left in the Corvette.

The couple was discovered several hours later by their 19-year-old-son, who found them kneeling by the bed where they had been shot.

A fingerprint left at the scene and a call to a local Corvette dealer about a car that might be for sale led to Taylor’s arrest. In 1992, Taylor, then 38, was sentenced to death, and DeWitt, then 34, was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Two of the Hanano’s children, Russell and Jane, addressed the court.

“Since her incarceration, Scheid has continued to deny her involvement in the crime,” the OCDA said in a statement. “Scheid continues to claim that her criminal activity was a result of engaging in drug use and involvement in abusive relationships. Scheid has characterized herself as an ‘innocent victim’ who had been used unknowingly by her co-defendants.

“The inmate has consistently minimized or denied her role in the crime, although admitting partial responsibility before her parole hearing in 2009. However, Scheid still only admits to being the facilitator, showing a refusal to accept responsibility for the full extent of her actions. Her partial admission as well as the questionable timing of the admission is doubtful.

“While in custody Scheid has accumulated multiple prison rule violations, and her response to the violations was to deny involvement or blame others, which demonstrates conduct similar to her excuses at the time of the crime and during other violations while in custody.

“Her inability to abide by the rules and her continued poor judgment casts serious doubt on her ability to follow conditions of her parole if she were to be released.”

Kazumi Hanano passed away on May 11, 2003 at the age of 77, survived by two sons, two daughters, two brothers, and four grandchildren.


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