LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) – Three families are left devastated and angry, they say the men accused of killing their loved ones are getting off too easy. Darren Bernal, Nathan Morrison, and Joseph Santiago were shot to death at a Los Lunas house party in April 2019. According to the criminal complaint, Brandon Dowdy, Robert Wilson, and Anthony Williams – who was a minor at the time of the shooting – were at Morrison’s house celebrating his birthday.
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Witnesses say the three teens got kicked out after getting into an argument with Morrison. A short time later, the teens returned and opened fire. All three teens were originally charged with three counts of first-degree murder. The victim’s families say the charges offered some comfort because they knew the three suspects wouldn’t get away with their crime.
Now, the families say that’s exactly what’s happening. Dowdy and Williams were scheduled to go to trial on Monday, but online court records show that the trial has been canceled, both the men are being given plea deals. The Valencia County District Attorney’s Office says Dowdy is now being charged with conspiracy to commit assault. Williams is charged with three counts of manslaughter.
Robert Wilson’s trial was scheduled for March of next year, but he’s also accepting a plea deal. He’s now charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit assault.
Both Williams and Dowdy are scheduled to be sentenced in mid-December. The District Attorney’s Office says they did not have enough evidence to charge the suspects with first-degree murder. Dowdy and Wilson will get credit for time served, and be released on probation. Williams will be released once he turns 21.