Suspected serial killer in California charged with three counts of murder

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Suspected Serial Killer In California Charged With Three Counts Of Murder Suspected Serial Killer In California Charged With Three Counts Of Murder
Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden speaks during a press conference on the arrest of Wesley Brownlee, © AP/Press Association Images
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By Associated Press Reporters

Prosecutors have charged a Northern California man with fatally shooting three men who, police say, were among six victims slain by a serial killer.

Wesley Brownlee, 43, was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of killing six men and wounding a woman in a series of shootings dating back to April 2021.

Police had been conducting surveillance on him as he drove through the streets of Stockton, armed with a handgun and possibly “out hunting” for another victim.

The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday filed three counts of murder, one count of a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of possession of ammunition.


Wesley Brownlee (Stockton Police Department/AP)

Brownlee is currently only charged in the three most recent slayings that occurred in Stockton. It was not immediately clear whether prosecutors intend to file additional charges related to the other cases.

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It was not immediately known if Brownlee has a lawyer who can comment on his behalf. He is being held in jail without bail.

Authorities previously described the suspect — now identified as Brownlee — as a serial killer who was “on a mission” but did not appear to have a clear motive in who he targeted for his crimes. Investigators have said ballistics tests and video evidence linked the shootings.

The five men killed in Stockton this year are Paul Yaw, 35, who died on July 8; Salvador Debudey Jnr, 43, who died on August 11; Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, who died on August 30; Juan Cruz, 52, who died on September 21; and Lawrence Lopez Snr, 54, who died on September 27.

Juan Vasquez Serrano, 39, was killed in Oakland on April 10 2021, and Natasha LaTour, 46, was shot in Stockton on April 16 that year but survived.

The criminal complaint filed on Tuesday only lists charges for the killings of Mr Rodriguez, Mr Cruz and Mr Lopez.

Brownlee has a criminal history – which includes traffic offences and convictions for drug crimes – which goes back to an arrest when he was 15 years old, according to The East Bay Times.

He was most recently discharged from parole in 2006.

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