Rhonda Parker / Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017 @ 12:20 p.m. / Courts
Suspect in Gang Murder of 14-Year-Old Gets New Attorney as Case Continues to Wend Its Way Through Court
A second attorney was appointed today to defend Mario Nunez, one of three alleged gang members charged with murdering a 14-year-old Eureka boy nearly three years ago.
This morning Judge John Feeney granted attorney David Celli’s motion to appoint Celli’s law partner, Russ Clanton, as co-counsel for Nunez. He and Joe Daniel Olivo Jr. and his son Joe Daniel Olivo III are accused of killing Jesus Romero Garcia on Dec. 17, 2014. Garcia died from three knife wounds to the chest.
The District Attorney’s Office has two prosecutors assigned to the case. Deputy District Attorney Luke Bernthal told Feeney this morning that’s because there are three defendants, “one of whom is on a separate track in the Juvenile Court.”
That is Olivo III, the person charged with the actual stabbing. He had just turned 17 when he allegedly knifed the younger teen. According to previous court testimony, Olivo was angry with Garcia for telling people he had requested protective custody while in Juvenile Hall.
Police have said all three defendants are affiliated with the Sureno gang. And all three reportedly went to the P Street apartment where Garcia had been hiding out because he was afraid. No one witnessed the stabbing because others in the apartment were in another room when the boy was attacked.
A fourth defendant, Nicholas Leigl, was originally charged with murder and spent 18 months in jail before pleading guilty to participating in gang activity. Leigl put the wounded Garcia in his car to take him to the hospital, but for reasons unknown they never made it.
The child was found the next morning, nearly dead, on a lawn about halfway to the hospital.
Nunez and Olivo Jr. remain scheduled for jury trial. Details of the younger Olivo’s case are confidential.
- HOMICIDE: Boy Found Stabbed Off McFarlan Street; EPD Investigating
- Fourteen-Year-Old Victim of Today’s Homicide
- Coroner Releases Information on This Week’s Two Violent Juvenile Deaths
- (UPDATE) Four Named in ‘Gang-Related’ 2014 Stabbing Death of 14-Year-Old Jesus Garcia-Romero
- District Attorney Seeks to Reinstate Charges Against Eureka Man Implicated in 2014 Murder of 14-Year-Old Boy
- Prosecutors Fail to Reinstate Murder Charges Against Nicholas Leigl; Eureka Man Charged With Being ‘Accessory’ in Slaying of 14-Year-Old Boy
- As Prosecutors Try For a Third Time to Reinstate Murder Charges Against Nicholas Leigl, The Accused’s Father Argues His Son’s Case
- COURT ROUNDUP: Two Murder Cases, One Serial Armed Robbery Case All Pushed Back, for Various Reasons
- Leigl Pleads Not Guilty for Third Time to 2014 Murder of 14-Year-Old
- Nicholas Leigl Fully Cleared of Homicide Charges, Released From Jail; Eureka Resident Was Thrice Accused of Participating in Gang Murder of 14-Year-Old Boy