Many people come to the blog looking for updates on the Esteban Nuñez murder case because it brought out some public reaction from Latino politicians in California. And of course, Esteban’s father is Fabian Nuñez, former Speaker of the Assembly and currently a partner in the high profile Mercury Public Affairs up in Sacramento. I think that this case provides an interesting glimpse into the home life of Fabian Nuñez. Usually, children of politicians have a lot of opportunity and ambition because of their parental resources. Look no further than the Kennedys, Bushes, or Udalls. But there are rebels or troublemakers in every family, and unfortunately, Esteban was accused in the murder of Lu Santos. And now he’s getting ready to go through the court system drama.
So here’s the latest:
“Ryan Jett, 24, and Esteban Nunez, 21, are charged with murder, assault, vandalism, conspiracy to commit an assault and conspiracy to destroy evidence in the death of 22-year-old Luis Santos.
If convicted, both face 25 years to life behind bars.
Two co-defendants, 20-year-old Rafael Garcia and 21-year-old Leshanor Thomas, pleaded guilty to lesser charges.”
A few weeks ago, the LA Weekly reported that a hearing was held where the judge ruled that rap lyrics written by Esteban Nuñez could not be brought before a jury, but a text message that Nuñez sent to his co-defendant Rafael Garcia shortly after the killing can be presented to the jury. The message read, “Gangsta rap made us do it.”
Now many of us have heard of the twinkie defense used by Dan White in another high profile California murder case, but I haven’t heard of the ‘gangsta rap’ defense, have you?
It’s also worth listening to this report by KNX 1070.
UPDATED 5/5/2010: Esteban Nuñez and his co-defendant Ryan Jett have pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the stabbing death of Luis Santos. Sentencing is scheduled for June 25, and the judge has indicated that he plans to send both young men to prison but may not impose the maximum 16 year sentence. In pleading guilty, both men will now have two strikes. I have a sneaky suspicion that Fabian Nuñez will get on some sort of prison reform kick or will attempt to revise the three strikes law, which I actually think is worth revisiting for drug offenders, not necessarily murderers. I always thought that Esteban had projected an entitlement attitude based upon how he presented himself online and in the remarks he made that became evidence.
Finally, if you want to read about the actual court room drama from today. The LA Weekly has a nice, brief write up of the emotions and mood projected by the Nuñez family.