Judge rejects release recommendation for Fresno double killing suspect caught on video

Police believe cell phone video recorded the shootings by 21-year-old Nicholas House.

Corin Hoggard Image
Tuesday, August 30, 2022
21-year-old Nicholas House will stay in jail until his trial - after a judge rejected a release recommendation from the probation department Monday.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- An accused double killer will stay in jail until his trial - after a judge rejected a release recommendation from the probation department Monday.

Police believe cell phone video recorded the shootings by 21-year-old Nicholas House.

House stood behind his defense attorney on Monday as he started his fight against charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter.

"Enter pleas of not guilty," said defense attorney Sam Luten. "Deny any priors. Deny any enhancements."

House is accused of gunning down 19-year-old Nicole Diaz and her boyfriend, 17-year-old Noah Golding, in Fresno.

RELATED: Police arrest 21-year-old for Fresno double homicide; victims identified

Police said Diaz and House's 19-year-old girlfriend agreed to meet for a fight back in May.

Bystanders recorded video of the fight as Golding and Diaz took shots with fists or a bat-like object at the other young woman.

A screenshot from the video appears to show one of the gunshots that killed Golding and Diaz.

Police say they later caught House in a getaway vehicle with a couple guns, one of which matched shell casings from the crime scene.

But a pretrial report from the probation department assessed House as a low-level risk and recommended releasing him pending trial.

"The report states he's a level 2," Luten said before the judge interrupted.

"I don't consider these reports as binding whatsoever on the Court," said Judge Francine Zepeda. "You can go ahead. I find them to be generally lacking because to find someone who has these charges and find them to be a Level 2, to me, is, actually, a little beyond the pale."

Prosecutors pointed out a level of planning and argued against House's release.

"The defendant went to the location with a bulletproof vest on and brought a firearm into a situation, and then used the firearm, killing two individuals," Deborah Miller said.

"What was he anticipating when he went there?" legal analyst Tony Capozzi said of the suspect bringing a gun and a bulletproof vest. "Was he anticipating killing these people, or was he waiting to see if he or his girlfriend was going to be put in a life-threatening situation?"

Police say nobody else had a gun at the fight, but Capozzi says that potential is a likely defense.

Judge Zepeda agreed with prosecutors on the level of danger House poses, and her decision drew cheers from Golding's family members and friends in court.

"I will hold him as a danger to the community, and I'll hold him on no bail whatsoever as a danger to the community," she said.

Golding's older brother, Isaiah Murrietta-Golding, was killed by a Fresno police officer in 2017. His family got a settlement of almost $5 million. His mother is accused of using some of the money to find gun trafficking for a gang.

House is due back in court in late October.