Four suspects accused of killing Valley farmer

Four suspects accused of killing a Valley farmer made their first court appearance Tuesday.
May 13, 2014 5:12:17 PM PDT
Four suspects accused of killing a Valley farmer made their first court appearance Tuesday. And Action News is learning more about that deadly confrontation with the suspected car thieves.

George Salwasser Junior was an innocent victim who homicide detectives say lost his life trying to protect his property.

Court records reveal the fourth person arrested for the crime, is the man who deputies believe was the gunman. Jose Canas did not enter a plea when he and three other suspects appeared before a judge.

Several family members of Fabian and Maria Mansanalez came to court Tuesday to see the brother and sister who are facing murder charges.

Cameras were not allowed in court when all four suspects were assigned public defenders and then postponed their arraignment.

Outside court, Maria Mansanalez' attorney told Action News he is waiting to find out what role investigators believe she had in the crime.

Two suspects who witnesses said were running through a vineyard trying to get away have been identified as Maria Mansanalez and Adrian Aceves.

"I believe that Adrian and Maria have some sort of a relationship," said Defense Attorney Douglas Foster. "I don't know if it's a romantic relationship or not but they know one other, they're close."

Investigators will not say if the suspects have confessed to the crime, or provided details about what happened when George Salwasser Junior pulled up and confronted them. No members of the victim's immediate family were in court Tuesday.

Maria's attorney said her family is still in disbelief that two members of their family are facing such serious charges.

"Right now, I think that everybody's just sort of in shock. They are looking to see who is representing whom. It's very complicated, I think overwhelming for somebody to come to court and have four different lawyers, one of them is appearing for one of the lawyers, so not everybody is here. So I think they are just trying to get sorted out."

Investigators have also collected some evidence from the suspects crashed car, but they are still looking for more, including the gun used to murder Salwasser.

Defense attorneys are waiting to see the evidence against their clients before they enter a plea and proceed with a direction in the case. All four are set to enter pleas next week.


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