Take 2 for Hearing in High Profile Murder Case

A preliminary hearing is scheduled to begin Wednesday for the son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and three other young men accused of fatally stabbing a Mesa College student near San Diego State University last fall.

The first hearing was put on hold last month. Defense attorneys for the victims requested the postponement saying they did not have adequate time to review evidence submitted by the district attorney's office.

Esteban Nunez, Rafael Garcia, Leshanor Thomas, and Ryan Jett are charged with murder and other counts stemming from the Oct. 4 stabbing death of Luis Santos, 22.  Three of the defendants are from Sacramento and one is from Los Angeles.
Fabian Nunez was in court last month, along with other family members, to support his son.  He walked away from the courthouse surrounded by television and newspaper cameras saying only "no comment".  

The Nunez group walked by a group of 10 friends of the victim who were standing along Broadway with signs saying "No Rotten Politics" and "Prison 4 Nunez, Garcia, Thomas, and Jett".  One of the men turned with his sign as Nunez walked by and said, "How is this fair?  My friend isn't walking away; he's not walking away.  He didn't get to spend Christmas with his family.  How is this fair?"

The men were arrested in Sacramento County in Dec. then driven to San Diego in four separate vehicles.

Witnesses to the fatal stabbing and its aftermath give a horrible portrait of the 19-year-old son of former California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez.

One of the defendants said "let's show them how we do it in Sac-town," said prosecutor Jill DeCarlo. "The defendants were looking for trouble and they bragged that they were all carrying knives," DiCarlo said.

A witness told police how furious Esteban Nunez and his friends were about getting kicked out of a fraternity party and how they vowed revenge. Another said Nunez declared that he "got one of them" as they left a group of men, including one who said he had just been stabbed.  Others describe Nunez trying to destroy evidence on the banks of the Sacramento River on Oct. 4, the day of the stabbing.

Esteban Nunez's attorney suggested the defendants were acting in self defense because one of them, Jett, was stabbed. But, the prosecutor says the victims were unarmed.

Fabian Nunez, 41, was the longest-serving speaker in California's era of legislative term limits. The Los Angeles Democrat cultivated a close relationship with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that led to their agreement on a landmark law to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California.

Contact Us