A former actor who stabbed his girlfriend 23 times in an attempt to murder her will be released from prison after being approved for parole, PEOPLE confirms.
Shelley Malil, 53, 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.
On Aug. 10, 2008, Kendra Beebe was talking with a friend on her back patio when Malil arrived and immediately stabbed her in her torso, according to a report in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
During his trial, he 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 told the parole board a different story. He said 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, according to the Union-Tribune.
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.
On Tuesday, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation 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.
After the hearing, Beebe texted the reporter and said she was “shocked” at the panel’s decision.
“Today, these men had a chance to take real action showing that we, as a society, value women and will protect them,” Beebe texted, saying the board failed to take the opportunity.
“For this I am sad,” she texted. “Because of their inaction, I will continue to live in fear.”
Earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown argued against Malil’s early release because there was not a sufficient reason as to why Malil’s “rage escalated so far out of control, and resulted in such a prolonged horror,” according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
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.”
According to the San Diego 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.
“I am fully invested in my rehabilitation and I never want to create another victim again,” the paper reported he said at his hearing.
He is expected to be released in the coming weeks and will be on parole supervision for five years, according to a statement from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation obtained by PEOPLE.