A character actor best known for his role in 2005’s “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” who has spent the last eight years in prison for stabbing his girlfriend 23 times, won parole Tuesday.
Shelley Malil was convicted of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon for ambushing Kendra Beebe in August 2008, according to the San Diego Union Tribune, a newspaper near the Southern California prison were Malil, now 53, had been serving time.
Malil was sentenced in 2010 to 12 years-to-life for the attack. He will be released in about two weeks and will be subject to parole supervision for five years, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation told the newspaper.
Beebe, whose chin was nearly sliced off and who still carries scars, told the Union Tribune that she was “shocked” at the decision and “the system is broken.”
“Because of their inaction, I will continue to live in fear,” Beebe added.
Malil attacked Beebe on the evening of Aug. 10, 2008, while she was at home, her young children asleep upstairs. Malil showed up while she was chatting with a friend on the back patio. He casually walked over and leaned into her as if her were going to kiss her, she said. Instead, he stabbed her, repeatedly, with a knife he’d brought him from his house.
During an earlier parole hearing, Malil admitted his intent was to "annihilate” her because of a perceived slight the day before, according to the Union Tribune.
Beebe testified at Malil's trial that, after stabbing her with the knife he brought with him, he retrieved another knife from her kitchen and stabbed with that knife too. He also slashed her with a broken wine glass. Then, as she lay bleeding, he tried to smother her to death with a pillow.
A panel of the California parole board granted Malil release back in January, but California Governor Jerry Brown objected to the decision, and ordered the board to reconsider. Malil, Brown said in a letter to the board, never really explained why his “rage escalated so far out of control, and resulted in such a prolonged horror.”
At Tuesday’s rehearing, Malil said that while there was no excuse for his crime, there was something of an explanation. He was an an “emotional time bomb,” he said, triggered by a lack of acting roles due to strikes and personal financial distress — including foreclosure — brought on by the Great Recession of 2008.
This, he said, was “coupled with heavy drinking and an unchallenged domestic violence mindset.”
“I am fully invested in my rehabilitation, and I never want to create another victim again,” Malil said, dabbing his eyes with a tissue when he finished speaking
While the parole board may have been impressed with Malil’s performance, Bebbe wasn’t.
“He’s an actor by trade, and a liar by choice,” she told the San Diego Union Tribune.