Angry Father Attacks Schwarzenegger’s Shortening of Murder Sentence

by Jane Jamison | January 7, 2011 11:22 pm

A followup to last week’s story here, ” Schwarzenegger’s Final Deal with the Devil”[1] which related how, in the final hours of his term, outgoing California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger drastically shorted the murder sentence for the son of former Democrat speaker of the house Fabian Nunez as a political favor.

Schwarzenegger said a shortened sentence to only seven years in prison was justified because Esteben Nunez had not been the one in the group to actually stab Luis Dos Santos, who died of his wounds. What the governor conveniently omitted to accomodate his political crony was the fact that young Nunez did stab Santos’ 3 other friends that night[2], and then engaged in an elaborate scheme to destroy evidence of the crime by throwing knives in a river.

Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee had written about Schwarzenegger’s despicable final act in office and today the father of one of the stabbing victims wrote to the Bee to also set Schwarzenegger straight on the facts.

[3]Esteban Nunez, son of former California Speaker of the Legislature, Fabian Nunez: — bragged that his father could “get him off”: charges

Angry father protests Esteban Núñez’s shortened sentence[4]

The father of Evan Henderson[5], a young man who was stabbed, but not fatally, by Esteban Núñez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, is angered that outgoing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger[6] shortened the young Núñez’s prison sentence.

Esteban Núñez agreed to a 16-year prison term as part of a negotiated plea to manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon charges stemming from an three-man attack on San Diego college students in 2008. One of the students, Luis Dos Santos,[7] died.

Schwarzenegger commuted Núñez’s sentence to seven years, citing the fact that another youth struck the fatal knife blow. But Bruce Henderson[8], in a response to a column by The Sacramento Bee’s Dan Walters,[9] says Schwarzenegger’s rationale doesn’t hold water. It follows:

Dan, I read your editorial (‘Núñez pardon leaves foul stench,’ 1/4) with a personal interest.

You say that young Núñez did not wield the knife that killed Luis Dos Santos.[10] True enough. But Esteban Núñez did wield a knife, and with it, as he was passing a group of unaware SD State boys on campus, he stabbed my son, Evan, in the back.

Not yet realizing he was stabbed and thinking that someone had pushed him from behind, Evan turned around. At that point, Núñez stuck the blade in Evan’s stomach. When I got off the plane in SD hours later and rushed to the hospital, the doctors were just finishing with emergency surgery to stop Evan’s internal bleeding. They told me if the blade had gone an inch in either direction — with either the front or back stab wound — that one or more major organs would have been hit, and my son could well have died.

Núñez did not kill someone that night only due to luck — Evan’s, first and foremost, and also, I suppose, Núñez’s. Núñez did nothing different than the other defendant, Ryan Jett,[11] whose blade did kill a young man. Also, there was testimony at the pretrial hearing that Núñez orchestrated the destruction of evidence — i.e. throwing the knives, including the murder weapon,[12] into the Sacramento River[13] — and repeatedly assured his cohorts that if the cops came down on them, his powerful daddy, Fabian Núñez, would clean things up for them.

As it turned out, young Núñez alone was the one who got the break — thanks to his daddy and the governor. As you say, a ‘foul stench’ indeed.

Bruce Henderson

Menlo Park CA: 

Speaker of Legislature Fabian Nunez (D) laughing with Arnold Schwarzenegger after signing of California’s AB 32, the first “cap and trade” law in the country

Cross-posted at [15]

  1. ” Schwarzenegger’s Final Deal with the Devil”:
  2. Nunez did stab Santos’ 3 other friends that night:
  3. [Image]:
  4. Angry father protests Esteban Núñez’s shortened sentence:
  5. Evan Henderson:
  6. Arnold Schwarzenegger:
  7. Luis Dos Santos,:
  8. Bruce Henderson:
  9. Dan Walters,:
  10. Luis Dos Santos.:
  11. Ryan Jett,:
  12. murder weapon,:
  13. Sacramento River:
  14. [Image]:
  15. Cross-posted at :

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