Police Tuesday announced the arrest of a fourth suspect accused of involvement in the murder of a man at an illegal gambling den run out of a residence in the Bay Terraces neighborhood of San Diego.
San Diego Police Department Lt. Andra Brown said Leaoaisemativa “Lulu” Sandoval, 27, of San Diego, was arrested Saturday and booked on suspicion of murder. Two brothers and one other man were previously arrested and charged with the June 5 slaying of Sean Heidleberg Nixon, 44, of San Diego.
“Sandoval was booked into Las Colinas for murder,” Brown said. “With further investigation into her culpability in the murder, we were able to prove that she was involved in it.”
The other defendants are Joshua Barnum, 30, who was arrested Aug. 25, and Glenn Sales Montano, 40, and Alfredo Sales Montano, 32, who were taken into custody on June 30 and Aug. 13, respectively.
According to police and prosecutors, Nixon was strangled with a strap from a marijuana grow tent. His body was found the following morning in the garage of the home in the 6800 block of Freed Manor Lane where the alleged gambling operation was being conducted, wrapped in a plastic tarp with the makeshift noose still around his throat.
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.
Barnum is charged with a single count of murder and additionally is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and a controlled substance.
All three have pleaded not guilty and remain in custody.
Deputy District Attorney Michael Reilly has alleged the siblings were running the gambling den out of the garage of the Freed Manor Lane home.
While there, Nixon attempted to take a fanny pack containing money and was initially kicked out, but was later allowed back inside, the prosecutor said. Later that night, the brothers “launched a surprise, coordinated attack” on Nixon while the victim’s back was turned, Reilly alleged.
The prosecutor alleged that 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.
Specifics regarding the alleged involvement of Barnum and Sandoval have not been disclosed by police or prosecutors.
— City News Service