Ex-state Assembly speaker's son to leave prison

Posted at 3:39 PM, Apr 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-08 21:55:46-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's decision to significantly reduce the manslaughter sentence of a political ally's son will lead to the man's release from a California prison within days.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Friday that Esteban Nunez will be paroled within a week, though it wouldn't give the exact day for security reasons.

Nunez was part of a group of college students from Sacramento who got into a brawl with local students near the campus of San Diego State in 2008. A knife fight that ended in the death of Luis Santos.

He entered prison in June 2010 to serve a 16-year sentence for the stabbing death. Schwarzenegger, on his last day in office in 2011, reduced the sentence to seven years.

The 27-year-old Nunez is the son of Fabian Nunez, speaker of the state Assembly while Schwarzenegger was governor.

A California appeals court last year upheld Schwarzenegger's power to reduce the sentence after the victim's parents sued.

Santos' parents were outraged then, and they remain angry.

Kathy Santos told 10News they knew Nunez's release was coming, but it's still "hard to believe." She called the early release "really disgusting."

"It's just unbelievable that self-serving politicians are allowed to skirt the system so they could benefit their own child. I don't understand that. That should never have been allowed," she said.

Fred Santos spoke of the pain that still haunts them.

"We are suffering. All of us are suffering. We're all sentenced to life for this because our son is gone forever," he said.