Reading from works by French philosopher Michel Foucault, Graham Pressley riffs on his identity as a convicted criminal in one of his YouTube videos

Reading from works by French philosopher Michel Foucault, Graham Pressley riffs on his identity as a convicted criminal in one of his YouTube videos

Graham Pressley Sounds Off on Jesse Rugge’s Release

Jesse James Hollywood Accomplice Lashes Out at Santa Barbara Law Enforcement

Friday, October 25, 2013
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As members of the Santa Barbara community and beyond voice mixed reactions to the news that Jesse Rugge was granted parole and released from prison this week — Rugge was convicted of kidnapping in connection with the murder of Nicholas Markowitz in 2000 and served 11 years of a life sentence — one of his co-defendants has taken to the blogosphere to expound his opinions on that announcement, his own criminality, and a variety of other topics like alcohol and introspection.

“Fuck it, I’ll say it,” Graham Pressley wrote October 20 on his blog, Underground Santa Barbara. “I’m goddamn ecstatic. My boy is getting out. Coming home. He’ll be on parole forever…but at least he’s coming home. After, well, over a decade of pandering and speaking the truth my padre and his padre and everyone’s fucking padre wanted us to spew…I can confidently say one thing, and very loudly: FUCK THE POLICE. You retards got it wrong.” Pressley has also created a number of YouTube testimonials, but didn’t respond to multiple requests for an interview about his public statements.

Jesse Rugge
Click to enlarge photo

Courtesy Photo

Jesse Rugge

“They finally met their match,” he goes on in the same post. “Sorry guys. Just couldn’t cut it, could ya? Ouch. I guess it really does make a difference…being smart and all… Of course it does. Of course it does. And of course, in Santa Barbara, it also helps to be white, skinny, pretty and, well, have stumbled upon the best public defense attorney the State of California has ever seen. Oh, and have the truth on our side…almost forgot to mention that….”

Pressley, 17 years old at the time of the murder, helped dig the shallow grave near Lizard’s Mouth where 15-year-old Markowitz was buried after being gunned down by Ryan Hoyt, who was acting under the direction of the group’s leader and small-time drug dealer, Jesse James Hollywood. Hollywood, Rugge, and another member of their gang had kidnapped Markowitz near his Los Angeles home because Markowitz’s half-brother failed to pay a $1,200 drug-money debt he owed Hollywood. The group traveled to Santa Barbara and spent time with Pressley and others at various homes and locations before Hoyt was given the order to kill the teen.

Pressley and his cohorts would be arrested shortly after hikers discovered Markowitz’s body. Pressley was tried as an adult in 2002 and was acquitted of kidnapping. When the jury couldn’t reach a verdict on his murder charge, Pressley was retried three months later and convicted of second-degree murder. He originally faced 18 years in prison but was sentenced as a juvenile after hard lobbying from his defense attorney Michael Ganschow and after former Santa Barbara County sheriff James Thomas intervened on his behalf. “I am not as assured that he would survive in an adult state facility,” Thomas wrote to Judge William Gordon at the time. Pressley, now 30, was released from a California Youth Authority facility in 2007.

Since then, Pressley — a fourth-generation Santa Barbaran whose great-grandfather Charles Pressley co-founded Old Spanish Days in 1924 — has dabbled in the South Coast wine industry, starting the tasting-and-selling business La Tour Wine Merchants in 2011. Pressley eventually moved La Tour into The Pub, but the Helena Street bar has since closed amid accusations of financial misconduct lobbed between Pressley and his partners. It’s not clear if La Tour is still operational; its website’s domain name expired earlier this month. More recently, Pressley renovated a space near the Santa Barbara Surf Museum and reportedly plans to open an after-hours, speakeasy wine bar.

In the last few years, Pressley has had multiple contacts with Santa Barbara police, but none of the incidents resulted in criminal charges. This summer, the owners of Sama Sama Kitchen on State Street called police after Pressley threatened one of their employees. The dispute, according to SBPD spokesperson Sgt. Riley Harwood, had to do with Pressley’s ex-wife developing a relationship with one of the restaurant’s staff members.

Harwood said a Sama Sama manager, upon hearing Pressley was on his way to the restaurant with his ex-wife at around 6:30 p.m. on June 29, stood outside the location to prevent him from entering. According to Harwood, Pressley told the manager he was going to hurt and kill the employee, but left the scene before officers arrived. Pressley detailed EdHat’s coverage of the police scanner communications in his blog this week, writing: “I think this was about my attempt to patronize a friend’s restaurant and the children who, for reasons I’d rather not publicize, were afraid of a sleight of frame, 140lb 30 year old man. Hmm indeed.”


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Pressley hasn't the brains he was born with.

geeber (anonymous profile)
October 25, 2013 at 5:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Seriously, it's time to stop giving these guys and their sad and delusional fangirls the publicity they crave. No more coverage on this would be the honest and ethical journalistic thing to do. The Indy doesn't really need these page clicks, right?

zappa (anonymous profile)
October 25, 2013 at 5:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So this punk participates in a first degree murder with special circumstances and is out of the youth authority after seven years. Meanwhile a fourteen year old year got caught up in a gang fight on state street stabs, someone and is in prison for seventeen years. The difference? The color of their skin and some pimping from good ole boy Jim Thomas. BTW, Who freaking cars who this POS' great grand father was?

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
October 25, 2013 at 5:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Chilling. If anyone needed evidence of class and racial privilege playing a part in the justice system, here it is. Participants in A vicious well planned kidnapping and homicide that went on for days affording all participants an opportunity to extricate themselves And summon authorities- even anonymously- getting out of prison so soon, long before they hit even middle age. Obviously as evidenced by pressleys comments, zero remorse. Tragic.

whosecityisthis2012 (anonymous profile)
October 25, 2013 at 5:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I wonder if Susan Markowitz now regrets advocating Pressley's release. And I feel horrible for any defendant if Zappa ever gets picked for a jury. No matter what the facts are, Zappa cant keep an open mind. I won't make statements about what you actually know about this case, but if you read everything you could never say such hateful things. The facts do not support the convictions(except for Hoyt) And I would be a fanboy if that really was the case

kerry121 (anonymous profile)
October 25, 2013 at 6:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oooooh, oooh, "fanboy," you've wounded me to the quick.
I must be a "hater," right?
Is there any way I can convey to you how ridiculous you sound?
Seriously, give it up. I suspect that none of these guys is going to be stopping by to thank you personally for your sad and rather breathless support.

zappa (anonymous profile)
October 25, 2013 at 6:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Zappa. Your the ridiculous one writing the same things over and over. Why do you care so much that somebody has a diff opinion than yourself? You write accusations, calling me a "fanboy" because I read the case material and formed my own opinion? You are pretty pathetic if you go around arguing with everyone who doesn't agree with you. Sad and pathetic. Your making this personal when all this should be is a debate

kerry121 (anonymous profile)
October 25, 2013 at 7:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Pressley is a loser and will wander aimlessly through life, living off his parents' money until that runs out. The day he threatens a seriously dangerous person (the group he considers himself part of) will be his last. Rugge is a thug with no prospects for a successful life. I hope his parents are willing to support him for the rest of his useless existence. There is no redemption and no atonement. Each and every act we commit has its unalterable consequences that ripple out into the universe for eternity. I agree that we should forget about and ignore these two thugs and let them become further trapped in the webs of their own making.

Eckermann (anonymous profile)
October 25, 2013 at 7:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

" BTW, Who freaking cars who this POS' great grand father was?"

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
October 25, 2013 at 5:48 p.m

I think it's relevant given Pressley's supreme arrogance and to point out that he's obviously well-connected financially, but I get the gist of your point and agree with you. Clearly Pressley has no conscience.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
October 25, 2013 at 9:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Regardless of their ridiulous claim "Jesse James Hollywood made me do it ." how either Pressley or Rugge can have anything but regret for their actions is beyond me. From what I saw and read in the actual police interviews, the two of them came up with that story to cover their own asses after their (girl) friends found out that Nick was found dead. Think about this...both or either of them could have prevented Nick's death at ANY GIVEN MOMENT and did NOT. The infamous "Alpha Dog" story was not backed up by any evidence. NTM, I sat as a spectator during the course of the trial and I found Graham Pressley to be indeed arrogant and void of remorse or credibility.

Cally (anonymous profile)
October 25, 2013 at 10:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Uh, you referred to yourself as a "fanboy." By the way, you do get that in the comments section here, the name of the commenter is _below_ his/her comment, right? May help you to keep your designated "haters" straight. Hopefully, you read all that case material more carefully.
Over and out.

zappa (anonymous profile)
October 26, 2013 at 7:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This is your brain ..... on drugs. Splat.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
October 26, 2013 at 8:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I'd guess this overly-entitled sh*thead wants us to feel sorry for him because he spent time in prison. So much for the remorse these guys said they had in order to get out of custody.

LegendaryYeti (anonymous profile)
October 26, 2013 at 9:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Baby Killers I can't believe how proud of killing a child they are..There was awhole group of them too who knew about the kidnapping and killing yet did nothing to prevent it. Some were blood of people in our so called justice system protected by mommy and daddy lawyer. To say those horrible things about our police departnment Wow...I see no scars on your baby bottom faces to indicate the police abused you..Baby Killer too bad ya all didn't get death and fry I would have loved to be there and see it Baby Killers and Child Molesters one in the same.

Byrd (anonymous profile)
October 26, 2013 at 12:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Pressley is a product of, "Blame someone else" not me. I think we have had two democratic presidents do the same! Billy with, "I didn't have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewenski" and "O" with, "It's Bush's fault"... Why take blame if our leaders do the same without batting an eye?? Pressley is scum and should not be able to continue to have his Felonious face printed on these pages.....

Priceless (anonymous profile)
October 27, 2013 at 9:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Clinton was simply lying about his behavior. Who else was he supposedly blaming ?
And I suppose it's factually wrong to point out that the recession began when Bush was President.

Warping reality in order to concoct an absurd charge against your political opponents and dragging it into a discussion in which it has no relevance is a pretty good definition of Priceless.

pk (anonymous profile)
October 27, 2013 at 10:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Clinton: in fact "blamed" the government shut down, which is when he first met Monica as staff and President were cooling their heels in the WH with nothing to do ...but apparently get into trouble when Monica allegedly showed off her G-string underwear to the POTUS in a room outside the Oval Office.

Clinton: But for ..... the shut down, there would not have been the staff party and free time on his hands was the gist of his excuse. (blame).

Bush: coincidence is not causation, You know that.

Better to choose your own values first before you vote, and then find a candidate that best matches them. No one candidate is a perfect match, but at least you know why you are voting besides just running a popularity or name recognition contest.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
October 27, 2013 at 5:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Next up, The Tea Dome Scandal and it's impact on the Youth of today.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
October 27, 2013 at 5:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Google "Bush blames Clinton"

Here is a cartoon about it:

tabatha (anonymous profile)
October 27, 2013 at 7:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Let's keep politics out of this. This is about a hellbound psychpath who so far has mommy and daddy's money and has gotten away with it. Let's respect the memory of Nick Markowitz please. As for Pressley, God help him.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
October 27, 2013 at 7:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Well Bill, if there were a God I doubt whether he or she or it would help Pressley. Presley is irredeemable. He will never amount to anything good. There is no hope for this loser. Only his mother could love him (which probably accounts for how he is surviving financially). The sad thing is that there are impoverished students in Kenya who have more potential than Pressley but do not have the opportunities that he enjoys. Perhaps Pressley's parents could bring a Kenyan student to Santa Barbara and support his or her education and send Pressley to Kenya to languish.

Eckermann (anonymous profile)
October 27, 2013 at 9:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Like shooting fish in a barrel. It's so easy a caveman can do it. Ooops, lib's are caveman. You Lib's are always blaming someone but yourself. That was my point. This POS Pressley is doing the same thing, NOT TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIS ROLE IN THIS VICIOUS MURDER. You can blame all you want but when you look in a mirror your looking at the person who committed the act.

Priceless (anonymous profile)
October 28, 2013 at 7:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

FWIW, I don't see that this is at all about liberals, conservatives, or The Children in any way. This is entirely about a defective unit, pure and simple. The "spay and neuter everything that breathes" crowd should turn their weapons on losers like this lest they further pollute the already fouled gene pool with offspring.

This entire bunch is a literal trainload of freaks and as billclausen says, hellbound. Hopefully they won't make too many more stops along the way.

Holly (anonymous profile)
October 28, 2013 at 8:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Priceless - making generalizations is always dumb. There are people on both sides who blame others. If you do not know that, you have not been paying attention. As Holly said, it is not about liberals or conservatives, and to bring politics into this is just another attempt to smear one side gratuitously.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
October 28, 2013 at 9:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Seriously what a little D-Bag. Someone needs to take this manboy out behind the woodshed. Somewhere some karma or someone down below will have some plans for this creep who helped taking a Mom's only son. Betcha money the guy still parties like a rockstar. Hope the cops keep an eye on him. Betcha that won't be a problem as he keeps on mocking them and making a JackA$$ out of himself in this small town.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
October 28, 2013 at 12:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

People should realize that Graham had numerous opportunities to save the life of Nicholas, but chose marijuana instead. I did not believe that Graham had remorse for the murder of Nicholas. Graham may have gone to Protestant Church on Saturdays and played the college game, but that did not vitiate his culpability in the crime. Graham behaved like a self-centered marijuana user more concerned with getting high, even if he did or did not in the facility, based on his actions and lack of understanding the impact he had on other lives. Graham, you were lucky to get out when you did and to encourage the release of Rugge is disgusting. Your true colors have shown. Frankly, what did Nicholas do to you? Did he harm you in any way? No. Stop playing the victim in this matter. You were a conspirator and an accomplice to murder, and nothing else.

Yoda (anonymous profile)
January 15, 2014 at 5:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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