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Arnold Schwarzenegger. (Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Feliz Navidad for Ex-Con Esteban Nunez

Politician’s son gifted sentence commutation by girly-man governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

By Lloyd Billingsley, December 16, 2019 11:28 am

The non-profit #cut50 bills itself as “a bipartisan effort to cut crime and incarceration across all 50 states.” The California State Policy Director for #cut50 is Esteban Nunez, working to “change the narrative of what it means to be formerly incarcerated.” Esteban Nunez has “found his greatest purpose and joy in life in the service of others.”

Fabian Núñez (Wikipedia)

The bio does not note that Esteban Nuñez is the son of former California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez. The site also fails to mention that the politician’s son would still be in prison if not for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s favor to his father. And no word of Esteban’s violent crime that drew a sentence of 16 years.

In October 2008, Esteban Nuñez and friend Ryan Jett had been denied entry to a party near San Diego State University. According to San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, the pair sought to take revenge by burning a frat house or “they were going to stab some people.” They soon encountered SDSU student Luis Santos, and made good on their claim. A knife penetrated the left ventricle of Santos’ heart, and the 22-year-old died at the scene.

Nuñez and Jett fled to Sacramento, where they burned their bloody clothes and threw weapons into the Sacramento River. Witnesses recognized Nuñez and Jett and identified them as the stabbers of Luis Santos. 

As Christine Pelisek of the LA Weekly explained, California’s Democratic Party political stars Antonio Villaraigosa and Maria Elena Durazo, were “all rallying around the accused while doing nothing to support the family of the widely-loved dead young man, who went, simply, by the name Lu.” On official stationery, then Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa, a longtime friend of Fabian Núñez’s, sent a letter to the San Diego County Superior Court requesting a reduction in bail.

Both Nuñez and Jett faced life in prison for the killing. Prosecutors believed the evidence warranted a charge of second-degree murder but Nunez wound up pleading guilty to manslaughter. The politician’s son drew a sentence of 16 years, but he would get some some help from his father’s most powerful political ally.

In 2011, on his last day in office, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted the sentence of Esteban Nunez to only seven years. The governor’s action caused great distress in the victim’s family.

“My son was stabbed in the heart while he was live,” father Fred Santos told reporters. “Schwarzenegger stabbed him in the back after he was killed.”

The governor’s action freed Esteban Nuñez in 2016 and in 2019 he should still be serving time in Mule Creek State Prison. Instead, the privileged politician’s son serves as State Policy Director for #cut50, co-founded by leftist CNN commentator Van Jones. So Esteban Nuñez will enjoy a feliz navidad thanks to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who sometimes called rival politicians “girly men.”

“I used my relationship with the governor to help my own son,” Fabian Nuñez said in an interview with The Times. “I’d do it again. There it is. I would do it again.”

“Nuñez said his ties to Schwarzenegger merely leveled a playing field that had been tilted against his son,” the Times reported. “He corrected a wrong that a judge imposed on my son. I believe any father would do what I did.”

According to a longtime friend, Gov. Schwarzenegger outsourced key selections to wife Maria Shriver, a prominent Democrat. Those picks included Ana Matosantos for state director of finance, with a degree in feminist studies and political science. Gov. Gavin Newsom made Matosantos his cabinet secretary and now state “energy czar.”

Gov. Schwarzenegger also picked Tani Cantil-Sakauye for Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court. In 2017, Justice Cantil-Sakauye accused ICE of “stalking” criminal illegals in courthouses.

Arnold Schwarzenegger returned to the movie business and this year appeared in Terminator: Dark Fate. In May, the actor blasted President Trump for not attending a climate change conference, charging, “if you’re a leader harnessing the people’s fear to keep us from moving forward, your time is limited.”  

Antonio Villaraigosa, the 41st Mayor of Los Angeles, unsuccessfully ran for California Governor in 2018. Maria Elena Durazo, former President of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, is now a State Senator. Former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez is a partner at Mercury lobbying firm.

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