Witness: Nunez Confessed to Stabbing Victim

A witness says the son of former California State Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez told him he stabbed a victim in a fatal altercation last fall.

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.

The alleged confession came from the first witness in a preliminary hearing for the men accused of murder in a fight that happened near San Diego State on October 8.

Witness John Murray said Nunez told him "I stabbed someone, and (Ryan) Jett (another defendant) stabbed someone, too."

Murray also said three of the defendants were drunk that night and that Jett had removed most of his clothes after returning from the fatal altercation and was soaking them in a kitchen sink.  Nunez allegedly told him later that he had stabbed someone on the shoulder during the fight to help protect another of the defendants, Rafael Garcia.

A preliminary hearing in the case 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.  Fabian Nunez was in court, along with other family members, to support his son.

The Nunez group walked by a group of 10 friends of the victim who were standing along Broadway last month 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?"

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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.

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