Fresno family pushing DA for murder charges

The family of a Fresno man who was killed last week is asking for justice, and criticizing the Fresno County district attorney's office and police.
January 6, 2014 3:32:00 PM PST
The family of a Fresno man who was killed last week is asking for justice, and criticizing the Fresno County District Attorney's Office and police.

David Vasquez, 22, was stabbed to death last Sunday, and police arrested Elbert Bustos the same day. But prosecutors didn't file charges, and the suspect got out of jail after less than 72 hours.

A prayer vigil ended with a rally that lasted more than five hours at Courthouse Park. David's sister tells Action News this has all been like a nightmare, and they're doing everything they can to keep it from being worse.

"What do we want? Justice. Who do we want it for? David," went the chants as their courthouse march went round and round -- circling a big water fountain, and then the courthouse itself.

The Vasquez family feels like they've been going in circles ever since the baby of the family was killed.

"I don't understand how someone can commit such a brutal crime and be let go," said Bexy Ormond, one of six siblings in the family.

The man who killed Vasquez was arrested, but prosecutors told police it looked like a case of self-defense. They didn't file charges and Elbert Bustos got out of jail two days later.

The men were involved in a large fight that started at Club Legends and ended with bloodshed in southeast Fresno. But Vasquez's family says the killer's actions don't sound like self-defense.

"He went to the car to get the knife," Osmond said. "To me, that's premeditated. You could've left. If you're in such fear for your life, why not get in the car and drive away."

Dozens of people -- even total strangers -- heard the family's pleas for justice and signed a petition asking the district attorney's office to file a murder case.

"If he was murdered, then justice needs to be served," said a man who didn't know the family and who would only give the name of Norman.

"Everybody out there who has a heart or a mother, a brother, a sister, a family member," said family friend Tasha Chatman-McCoy. "I can go out today and may not make it home because of something like this. We need justice because this needs to stop."

The district attorney's office told Action News they referred the case back to Fresno police for further investigation. There is no statute of limitations on murder, but the Vasquez family says the longer prosecutors wait, the longer a killer is on the streets of this community.

Action News made several attempts to reach Bustos but got no response.


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