Two suspects arrested in Kerman murder case

FRESNO, Calif.

/*Marcus Lynn Snowden*/ was killed in Kerman three months ago. Over the weekend, deputies arrested 21-year-old /*Manuel Ray Villareal*/ and 24-year-old /*David Magallon*/ on murder charges. Investigators say both are self-proclaimed gang members.

Deputies say the 18-year-old Snowden was not a gang member, but he was the target as a party broke up in October. Action News talked to Snowden's mother Monday and she's just too emotional to talk on camera. But she was thankful for help from the community and the sheriff.

Around Kerman, the public pleas for help are posted all over: at the high school, on neighborhood trees, even on a mailbox on the street where Snowden was killed. The nightmare scene played out at a bend in the road where 8th St. meets Sunset.

"They all ran over there and the fight started over there where he was lying dead," said Yolanda Espinoza, whose family lives at the bend.

Dozens of people were on the scene at the time, but they all scattered quickly, and Snowden's friends worried the case might go cold.

"I think people just didn't want to get involved which is the sad part," said Kerman High student Laura Gonzales, who was friends with Snowden.

Despite a huge outpouring of support for Snowden at a vigil the night after his death, clues came slowly to Fresno County sheriff's detectives. So, Snowden's family turned his death into a cause. They started a Facebook page called "Together Against Violence", using social networking and wristbands to raise awareness about the case, and others.

Two months later, Sheriff Margaret Mims joined the family to ask the public for help, and it worked. "We immediately started getting phone calls to the sheriff's office and Crime Stoppers and that led to several leads detectives could work," said Sheriff's spokesman Chris Curtice.

Manuel Villareal and David Magallon were arrested separately over the weekend.

Snowden's mother issued this statement to Action News:

"On behalf of the family of Marcus Lynn Snowden, I wanted to say how relieved we are that there were two arrests made. We are very thankful to the Fresno County Sheriff's Office for their diligence and hard work in regards to this case. We also wanted to thank Margaret Mims for helping us make our plea to the public and urging people to come forward.

"In the past few months our family has experienced an enormous amount of anxiety and stress, we are hoping that this news will help to alleviate some of our worries. We are filled with a lot of emotions right now and know that although the arrest of these suspects will not completely mend our hearts, we are glad that they are off the streets and cannot hurt anyone else.

"Sadly there are still more individuals who need to be made accountable for this crime. We need people to know that it is only through our combined efforts that we can make our communities safer for one and all. We hope that this news will compel people to come forward and talk to detectives; our communities are not safe until all of the people responsible have been brought to justice. We urge anyone with information about this case to please call 559-488-3111 or 559-498-STOP.

"We will always love and miss Marcus and his humor, his larger than life personality and willingness to help others."

There was also a $2,000 reward in the case, but investigators haven't figured out who, if anyone, should get it.

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