By Christine Pelisek reporting from San Diego
The mother of Esteban Nunez, Maria Robles, burst into tears in a San Diego courtroom this afternoon, and family members seemed equally shocked, when Judge Robert O'Neill ordered the son of California Assembly Speaker Emeritus Fabian Nunez to be taken to jail immediately to await his June 25 sentencing in a plea deal over the murder of college kid Luis Santos.
To escape a murder trial, Nunez and his friend Ryan Jett suddenly agreed today to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter. But apparently, the two accused young men who wielded knives in a brawl that led to Santos' death had hoped to remain free until late June. When O'Neill instead ordered San Diego County Sheriff's deputies to take them away, Nunez' mother refused to leave and Fabian Nunez took her hand, leading her out of court. Both young men began openly crying.
The two handsome young friends, both wearing gray suits and blue shirts with ties, were required to immediately remove their ties and belts– a jailhouse rule to avoid suicides — as media and others in the courtroom looked on.
They both began to visibly cry as Nunez' mother called out “I love you son!” Another female relative of Nunez' looked over at a reporter taking down notes inside the courtroom and remarked, “Are you getting everything down?”
After Jett and Nunez were taken away, the jury was called in and told it wasn't needed any longer.