New Details in Kerman Double Murder

July 29, 2009 7:50:02 PM PDT
Action News uncovered new information about a Kerman couple's bizarre murder. Police are now saying their son is a person of interest in the case. A check of the couple's finances shows they died in the midst of some serious money problems.Three people have been charged with the murders of Gary and Sandra DeBartolo. Both died last week in Kerman after their throats were slashed. Action News has confirmed the couple's son Eric DeBartolo is a person of interest in this investigation, but we don't officially know how he is connected to his parent's death. We also learned the suspects planned to buy a substantial amount of marijuana from the victims.

Court documents show Gary DeBartolo and Sandra were facing a financial disaster. Action News has uncovered new details from an arrest warrant. In the document, we discovered murder suspect Leroy Johnson gave a statement to investigators. Johnson said he and four other suspects went to Gary and Sandra DeBartolo's home to obtain twenty pounds of marijuana. Johnson denied killing the couple, but later in the warrant a man named Chris Butler saw Johnson leave the Kerman home. "Butler said Johnson was bleeding from a cut on his hand and told them he had to kill [the victims] because [the victims] wouldn't give him what he wanted."

Police found the couple murdered last Wednesday in their own home. Sandra worked at Kerman high school as a school secretary. Neighbors expressed shock when dozens of marijuana plants were removed from the home. But their friends didn't know Gary and Sandra faced a financial nightmare. A judge ordered them nearly two years ago to repay their own family more than $33,000. Gary's siblings sued him claiming he defrauded them over a home sale. Gary admitted in a deposition he gambled away part of the money. Gary said "a collection of everything and plus some gambling." landed him in financial trouble. He further stated one year alone he gambled "? $35 to $40,000 ?". He implicated his wife by saying "Yeah, we both play ? video poker." Court records show the couple had a modest monthly income and not enough money to afford extravagant gambling.

Wednesday morning the most recently arrest suspect Jose Reyes is scheduled to be arraigned. The sheriff's department has declined to release more information. Funeral services for the DeBartolo's will be held on Friday.

      MORE LOCAL NEWS | TWEET@ABC30 | FREE ABC30 WIDGET
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sign up for Breaking News Alerts
Breaking News E-Mail Alerts | Text Message Alerts
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
More News on abc30.com
California/State | National/World | Weather | Entertainment | Business | Politics | Sports | Health Watch | Consumer Watch | Mr. Food |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Load Comments