On Monday afternoon, the police released names and photos of the two remaining suspects in the fatal stabbing of 23-year-old Peter Gonzales following an early morning fight inside KetMoRee Thai Restaurant & Bar in downtown Davis early Saturday morning.
Police arrested Zackary Sandeno, 21, shortly after police had identified him and his younger brother Joseph Sandeno, 20, as the two remaining suspects in the murder investigation. Late on Saturday, police had arrested Martyn Contreras of Vacaville, 25, who is being held without bail at the Yolo County Jail.
Joseph Sandeno is described in the police report as a white male, with blond hair, blue eyes, approximately 6’00”, and 140 lbs. Based on the police investigation, Joseph Sandeno currently has shoulder length blond hair.
According to reports, the victim, Mr. Gonzales, had been in Davis with his family to attend his sister’s wedding on Sunday. The wedding party ended up at KetMoRee on Friday night. Mr. Gonzales was coming to the aid of his two brothers who had been assaulted in the bar. He was fatally stabbed.
Mr. Contreras will be arraigned on Wednesday afternoon at the Yolo County Superior Court.
The murder has shocked the sense of many in the community who are questioning current policies that have allowed restaurants like KetMoRee to convert to an after-hours night clubs. KetMoRee has been a popular late night location with college-aged crowd but often has been the source of trouble in the form of fights and drunkenness.
On Friday night this scene turned deadly. The Vanguard has requested incident reports dating back five years at the club.
Assistant Police Chief Darren Pytel told the Vanguard that police responded to a fight inside the bar located at 238 G Street at approximately 1:30 am on Saturday morning.
When officers arrived they found a 23-year-old male from Southern California suffering from a serious injury consistent with being stabbed. The victim was transported to UC Davis Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Assistant Chief Pytel told the Vanguard, “There are no indications the victim did anything to provoke the fight.” And information has emerged, as stated, that the victim was actually coming to the aid of his brothers at the time he was stabbed.
Detectives have not ruled out gang involvement regarding the three suspects.
KetMoRee remained closed throughout the day on Saturday, surrounded by yellow tape as investigators from the Davis Police Department and Yolo County Sheriff’s Department worked the crime scene.
KetMoRee has long been troubled by late night violence, with at least one previous stabbing.
Meanwhile, Davis continues its string of murders. From 2004 to 2011, there were no murders at all in the city of Davis. Then in October 2011, James Mings was arrested for murder in a strange case where a jury would ultimately find Mr. Mings guilty of attempted murder, instead of either first- or second-degree murder.
Then there was the infamous Daniel Marsh double murder in the spring of 2013, where the Davis teenager stabbed to death an elderly couple in their Davis home. In May of 2014, a Yolo County jury acquitted Davis resident Quentin Stone, accused of shaking his three-month-old baby, ultimately causing his death.
In September of 2013, Aquelin Talamantes was arrested and accused of drowning her five-year-old daughter. The defense had argued not guilty by reason of insanity. The jury convicted her and she received a 25 years to life sentence.
Darnell Dorsey is accused of assaulting his girlfriend’s child, causing the child’s death in Davis. That case is still pending and the defense has argued that there is no direct evidence tying Mr. Dorsey to the murder.
Most recently Joseph Hein, 23, shot 27-year-old Whitney Engler and took his own life this spring. The coroner confirmed the murder-suicide scenario. An autopsy report released this week gave few clues about Mr. Hein’s motive for the murder. Although it did turn up a note detailing that he planned to take his own life, it did not specify why or the reason he killed Ms. Engler as well.
—David M. Greenwald reporting