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Schwarzenegger Reduces Prison Sentence Of Former Assembly Speaker’s Son

The son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez of Los Angeles had his prison sentence for a San Diego killing shortened today by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on the last day of his administration.

Esteban Nunez, 22, of Sacramento, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon for a drunken knife fight near San Diego State University in 2008 and was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Schwarzenegger commuted his sentence to seven years.

Ryan Jett, 25, of Sacramento, also pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and assault for instigating the incident, in which two of Santos' friends were also stabbed and another friend suffered an eye injury.

Two others -- Leshanor Thomas, 21, and 20-year-old Rafael Garcia -- pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

On Oct. 4, 2008, Nunez and Jett fought with Luis Dos Santos and several others near San Diego State University. During the fight, Jett stabbed Santos to death.

Both Jett and Nunez pleaded guilty and were sentenced to the maximum prison term. Nunez asked that his sentence be shortened because he received the same penalty as Jett, although he did not kill anyone.

"Santos's death is tragic, and I do not discount the gravity of the offense,'' Schwarzenegger said in his commutation message.

"But given Nunez's limited role in Santos's death, and considering that, unlike Jett, Nunez had no

criminal record prior to this offense, I believe Nunez's sentence is excessive. Accordingly, I commute Nunez's sentence to the lower term for the crimes for which he was convicted: seven years in state prison.''

The Governor's Office did not say when Nunez might be eligible for parole.

Fabian Nunez, a Democrat, served as Assembly speaker from 2004 to 2008.


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