Politics & Government

$2 million bail set for former Calif. Assembly speaker's son

SAN DIEGO - The criminal drama surrounding the 19-year-old son of former California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and three of his Sacramento-area friends deepened Wednesday as defense attorneys began attempts to discredit the prosecution's murder case.

The four men were arraigned on murder and other charges in San Diego Superior Court in connection with the slaying of a college student on Oct. 4.

Judge David Szumowski set bail at $2 million for three of them. Ryan Kelly Jett, 22, the only defendant with a criminal history, was denied bail.

The men's attorneys entered not guilty pleas on behalf of each of them and denied all the accusations.

Standing before the judge in dark blue jumpsuits, Esteban Nunez, 19; Rafael Isaac Garcia, 19; Leshanor Thomas Jr., 19; and Jett were charged with one count each of murder, three counts each of assault with a deadly weapon and one count each of vandalism.

The men remained silent throughout the proceeding, except to agree to the scheduling of future hearings, including a bail review hearing Tuesday and a preliminary hearing March 18.

In describing for the court the events leading up to the fatal stabbing of 22-year-old Luis Santos on the San Diego State University campus, Deputy District Attorney Jill DiCarlo told a story of drunkenness, rage and destruction of evidence.

That tale has been fabricated and exaggerated for dramatic effect, charged defense attorney Brad Patton, who is representing Nunez.

Read the full story at sacbee.com.