A college friend of Esteban Nunez, the son of former state Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, has pleaded guilty to two counts of assault for his role in the death of 22-year-old San Diego college student Luis Santos. In exchange, Leshanor Thomas has agreed to testify again Nunez and Nunez' friend Ryan Jett.
In 2008, Sacramento college students Esteban Nunez, Rafael Garcia, Ryan Jett and Leshanor Thomas were charged with the October 4, 2008 stabbing death of an allegedly unarmed Santos after an alcohol-infused street brawl next to the Aztec Recreation Center on the campus of San Diego State University.
Here's why the political elite in California are watching this tragic murder case involving alleged killers who come from private schools and lives of power and privilege:
The case has elicited the involvement of California's Democratic Party political stars, from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to County Federation of Labor chief Maria Elena Durazo -- all rallying around the accused while doing nothing to support the family of the widely-loved dead young man, who went, simply, by the name Lu.
Last September, Garcia, the son of a respected Sacramento administrative law judge, also agreed to testify against the remaining defendants, Nunez and Jett. Garcia, 19, who attended a Catholic high school in Sacramento with Nunez, pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy to destroy evidence -- including a bloody shirt.
In exchange for Thomas and Garcia's testimony, the San Diego District Attorney's Office dropped the murder charge. According to the district attorney's office, Thomas and Garcia's prison time will depend largely on their testimony in the upcoming trial scheduled for May 3.