cuffs, handcuffs
Photo credit: Alexander Nguyen

One of three men charged with murdering a man at an illegal gambling den run out of a San Diego residence has been arrested, authorities said Wednesday.

Joshua Barnum, 30, is accused along with brothers Glenn Sales Montano, 40, and Alfredo Sales Montano, 32, in the June 5 slaying of Sean Heidleberg Nixon, 44, who prosecutors say was strangled with a strap from a marijuana grow tent. His body was found the following morning at a home located at 6800 Freed Manor Lane, where the alleged gambling operation was being conducted.

Barnum was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of murder and was being held on more than $2 million bail. Specifics regarding Barnum’s alleged involvement in the killing have not been disclosed by police.

According to a criminal complaint, he’s charged with a single count of murder, while the Montano brothers are both charged with murder and a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait, making them eligible for the death penalty should prosecutors opt to seek capital punishment.

Glenn Montano was arrested June 30 and Alfredo was arrested Aug. 13, according to San Diego Police Lt. Andra Brown.

The siblings previously pleaded not guilty to the charges and are being held without bail.

At the brothers’ prior court appearances, Deputy District Attorney Michael Reilly alleged they were running the gambling den out of the garage of the Freed Manor Lane home.

While there, Nixon attempted to take a fannypack containing money and was initially kicked out, but was later allowed back inside, the prosecutor said.

Later that night, Reilly said the brothers “launched a surprise, coordinated attack” on Nixon while the victim’s back was turned.

Glenn Montano wrapped a grow tent strap around the victim’s neck, while Alfredo Montano struck Nixon multiple times and kicked him while he was being strangled, the prosecutor alleged.

Reilly said Nixon’s body was found in the garage the following day, wrapped in a plastic tarp, with the makeshift noose still around his throat.

Both brothers are next due in court Sept. 30. Jail records indicate Barnum is slated for an arraignment on Friday.

— City News Service