It has been nine years since a Bakersfield woman was murdered by two people, reportedly as part of a gang initiation.
Now, one of the killers is about to be free.
Travale Carlson was just 13 when he pleaded guilty to killing 46-year-old Yolanda Espinoza. He was sentenced to the California Youth Authority up to age 25.
Carlson is now 22 and will be released Wednesday, ahead of his 25th birthday, because the Juvenile Justice Department says he's been rehabilitated.
"I just love her and miss her and will always love her." Lisa Espinoza tries to focus on the wonderful memories she has of her mother and not the way she died.
Lisa was 16 when her mother, Yolanda, was killed inside her downtown Bakersfield apartment.
Travale Carlson, then 13, and 30-year-old Lonnie Johnson were convicted of the crime.
Police reports say Carlson did it so he could join the Westside Crips.
"He, I guess, held her down so the other guy could stab her. And, the knife actually broke off in her torso, and the man told him to get another knife. But, instead of getting another knife the boy saw a bag and grabbed it and tied it around her head," said Lisa describing her mother's murder.
Carlson, now 22, has served nine years in the California Youth Authority.
In Juvenile Court Tuesday, the judge, in reading the report from the CYA, noted Carlson has shown a marked change in behavior and has worked hard to get an early release.
"To think that after being incarcerated for nine years, he can just walk out of the doors of jail and somehow he's been rehabilitated in that nine years, I find it very difficult to believe," said Cynthia Norris, Supervising Deputy District Attorney.
And, so does Lisa Espinoza. She saw Travale Carlson at a hearing two weeks ago, where he spoke to the Espinoza family.
"He would hope we would forgive him, that we're in good health," Lisa says he told her.
For now, Lisa is focused on keeping her mother's memory alive and trying to forget one of the men who took her life, is about to walk free.
"I hope that people, if they see him, remember what he did. That he's not just gonna be walking around a normal person that didn't kill somebody in this horrible way and change so many people's lives," said Lisa.
Travale Carlson will be on probation up to age 25.
His attorney says Carlson earned his GED and is hoping to find work as a barber.
Carlson's family and attorney declined to comment after the hearing.