Two National Guard members to face murder charges in death of fellow soldier

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A judge says a jury should decide whether two Fresno National Guard members killed a fellow soldier in self-defense last year. (KFSN)

A judge says a jury should decide whether two Fresno National Guard members killed a fellow soldier in self-defense last year.

The judge today said Jessica Wills, who admits to stabbing Brian Santos after a dispute on New Year's Day 2014, did not use reasonable force in killing him.

Wills admits to stabbing Santos, but claims it was in self-defense. Wills' wife, Jacqueline Benavides-Wills, will also be held on murder charges.

The judge called her actions that night cold and calculated. The defense attorney for Jessica Wills was not surprised by the judge's ruling, because the burden of proof is so low in a hearing like this.

"Ultimately I think she's saying this is a decision for a jury to make and not her," Michael Aed said. "And we're disappointed in that, because we've maintained the same defense the entire time, it's been the same."

Both women are still out on bail, but will be back in court on September 3rd, where a trial date could be set.
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