Shelley Malil, best known for a role in the 2005 hit movie “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” has been granted parole after serving less than 8 years of his prison sentence. The 53-year-old actor was convicted in 2010 of the attempted murder of estranged girlfriend Kendra Beebe.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. The Victim Told Prosecutors Malil Ambushed Her at Home With Her Children Sleeping Inside and Nearly Stabbed Her to Death
Shelley Matthew Malil was convicted of attacking then-estranged girlfriend Kendra Beebe. The attack happened on August 10, 2008. He initially told investigators the stabbing was self-defense. But he later changed his story, admitting that the attack was premeditated.
Malil drove from his home in Sherman Oaks, California to Beebe’s house in San Marcos, a suburb of San Diego. The two cities are separated by about 115 miles. As prosecutors pointed out during the parole hearing, Malil had plenty of time to analyze his plan and stop, but chose to carry it out anyway.
Beebe told police she was sitting on the back patio with friend David Maldonado that evening, with her children asleep inside. She says when Malil arrived, he leaned down as if to kiss her. Instead, he began stabbing her in the torso. Beebe was ultimately stabbed 23 times. Malil also reportedly tried to smother her with a pillow.
Neighbors confirmed to TMZ after the attack that Beebe and Malil were a couple. One neighbor, who told police he witnessed the attack, rushed over with a blanket to try and stop the bleeding. Police reportedly told the neighbor this action may have saved Beebe’s life while they waited for paramedics to arrive. She suffered a punctured lung and serious injuries to her neck, chest, back and arms.
2. Shelley Malil Admitted That His Intention Had Been to ‘Annihilate’ Beebe
During a parole hearing in January 2018, Shelley Malil admitted that his intention on the day of the attack had been to “annihilate” Beebe, according to the San Diego Union Tribune. He said the attack was motivated by jealousy and anger, and that he had felt “slighted” by Beebe the previous day.
This admittance differed from what Malil told the court in 2010. He testified then that his intent had been to apologize to Beebe for taking items from her house. On the witness stand, Malil also testified that he had emailed sexual photos of the couple to Beebe’s co-workers and had wanted to warn her about that. Malill told the court that he was angered when he found Beebe drinking wine on the back patio with another man, who was identified as her friend David Maldonado.
During the 2010 trial, the defense attorney argued that Malil did not want to kill Beebe and questioned the credibility of her account. According to the TODAY show, the defense described Beebe as a “violent drama queen who tried to make men jealous.”
Beebe also questioned during the trial whether Malil had conspired with her ex-husband, Chetwyn “Johnny” Archer. Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe confirmed that Malil and Archer had spoken on the phone the day before the attack, as reported by CBS affiliate KFMB-TV. But no concrete evidence was found and Archer was not charged with a crime.
3. Shelley Malil Was Given a Sentence of 12 Years to Life Behind Bars for the Attempted Murder of Kendra Beebe
Shelley Malil was arrested the day after the August 2008 attack at a train station Oceanside, about 15 miles northwest of San Marcos. The case went to trial in 2010.
A jury convicted the actor on attempted premeditated murder and assault with a deadly weapon. He was acquitted on a residential burglary charge. A San Diego County Superior Court judge was responsible for deciding the appropriate punishment.
Malil was ordered to spend 12 years to life behind bars, with the possibility of parole. At the time, it was understood that Malil could be freed sooner than that due to time already served and good behavior.
Malil apologized to Kendra Beebe during the sentencing hearing. He told the court, “I want to do whatever I need to do to make sure I make right from the wrong that I did. Kendra Beebe did not deserve anything that happened to her… I can’t even begin to imagine what she has been through.”
4. Malil Was First Granted Parole in Early 2018 but California’s Governor Challenged That Decision
Shelley Malil was booked into the Chuckawalla Valley State Prison on January 10, 2011. According to prison records, he first became eligible for parole in August of 2017.
In January of 2018, Malil appeared before a panel that included three parole commissioners. His argument was that he had used his time in prison to better himself. While behind bars, Malil attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, earned an associate’s degree and reportedly took self-help classes.
The panel decided to accept Malil’s request for parole, deciding that the actor posed a low risk for violence in the future. But California governor Jerry Brown disagreed with the panel’s findings. He ordered a full review, which prevented Malil from being released.
But on Tuesday, August 28, the panel reviewed their evidence again and unanimously confirmed their earlier decision to grant parole. Malil will leave prison in early September. He’ll be on supervised parole until 2023.
5. Kendra Beebe Explained at the Parole Hearing That She Continues to Live in Fear and Expressed Disappointment With the Panel’s Decision
Kendra Beebe addressed the parole board via a video feed. The reporter for the San Diego Union Tribune attended the hearing and quoted Beebe as saying that she continues to live in fear since the 2008 attack. She explained that Malil “calmly and methodically butchered me over and over,” and that he had ““attacked my character at trial.”
After the panel decided to uphold their earlier decision to grant parole, Beebe expressed shock. “Today, these men had a chance to take real action showing that we, as a society, value women and will protect them. For this I am sad. Because of their inaction, I will continue to live in fear.”
“We agree with the Governor that Malil demonstrated uncontrolled rage and lacks an understanding of his crime. The victims have endured tremendous physical and emotional pain. To approve this individual for release, given his violent attack, ignores the very real danger he poses to public safety.”