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California Briefing / San Diego

Man agrees to testify against Nunez's son

September 18, 2009|Tony Perry

One of four men charged in the fatal stabbing of a San Diego college student pleaded guilty Thursday and agreed to testify against the others, including the son of former state Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez.

Rafael Garcia, a college student in Northern California, pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy to destroy evidence. In exchange, prosecutors dropped a murder charge against him in the Oct. 4 death of Luis Santos, 22.

As part of a plea bargain, Garcia agreed to testify against three co-defendants: Ryan Jett, Esteban Nunez and Leshanor Thomas. The district attorney's recommendation on whether Garcia should go to prison and, if so, for how long, will await his testimony, DiCarlo said.

The four were charged with killing Santos, a student at Mesa College, after a night of drinking and parties near San Diego State.

Prosecutors allege that the three remaining defendants attacked Santos after being rebuffed in their attempt to crash a fraternity party. Defense attorneys say their clients acted in self- defense.

-- Tony Perry

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