A former actor who tried to murder his girlfriend was released from a California prison on Thursday, PEOPLE confirms.
Shelley Malil who appeared in the film The 40-Year-Old Virgin as well as TV shows Scrubs and NYPD Blue, was given a 12 years-to-life sentence in 2010 after being convicted of premeditated attempted murder.
Three years after appearing in the hit film, Malil, 53, stabbed his then-girlfriend 23 times in an attack her originally claimed was a case of mistaken identity on his part.
He served the full minimum term, Luis Patino, spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, told PEOPLE. The conditions of his parole were not public.
The day after his release, his former girlfriend Kendra Beebe, who he stabbed repeatedly, appeared on Good Morning America and said she doesn’t feel safe.
“I will always have to watch my back for the rest of my life,” she said.
On Aug. 10, 2008, Beebe was talking with a friend on her back patio when Malil arrived and immediately stabbed her in her torso.
“When I was going to give him a hug, he pulled out his hand and just started stabbing me,” she told GMA.
During his trial, the actor testified he thought he was stabbing someone else in self-defense on a night that he couldn’t remember clearly. It wasn’t until hearing Beebe shout, “Call 911!” that Malil said he realized she was the one he was stabbing.
“That’s the first time I look and see it’s Kendra I’m fighting with,” he said at trial.
Earlier this year, Malil appeared in front of a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation panel and told a different story.
He said after drinking heavily he grabbed a knife from his Sherman Oaks home and drove to Beebe’s San Marcos, California, home with the intent to “annihilate” her because he felt he’d been slighted by her the day before, a report in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
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Malil continued to stab her with a broken wine glass and another knife he took from her kitchen, and attempted to smother her with a pillow. Beebe suffered 23 deep puncture wounds during the attack and the flesh on her chin was nearly sliced off. Her arm was almost severed as well.
Last month, the department approved his parole with a unanimous decision, according to the newspaper, whose reporter attended the hearing.
The panel agreed Malil posed a low risk of committing violence in the future, the paper reported.
According to the Union-Tribune, Malil apologized and took full responsibility for his actions. He claimed to have been an “emotional time bomb” at the time of the attack because he was suffering from professional and financial distress.
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“I am fully invested in my rehabilitation and I never want to create another victim again,” the paper reported he said at his hearing.
San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan issued a statement Tuesday saying she is “disappointed” that Malil is being released after serving eight years in prison.
“We agree with the Governor that Malil demonstrated uncontrolled rage and lacks an understanding of his crime,” Stephan wrote. “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.”
He will be on parole supervision for five years, according to a statement from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation obtained by PEOPLE.
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