NATIONAL NEWS

Prosecutor: 4 more slayings tied to California serial killer

Dec 28, 2022, 11:27 AM
FILE - Wesley Brownlee stands with public defender Allison Nobert during his arraignment in San Joa...
FILE - Wesley Brownlee stands with public defender Allison Nobert during his arraignment in San Joaquin County Superior Court on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022. Brownlee has been charged in four additional slayings this week, bringing his total to seven deaths in Northern California since April 2021, authorities said. (Hector Amezcua/The Sacramento Bee via AP,File)/The Sacramento Bee via AP, File)
(Hector Amezcua/The Sacramento Bee via AP,File)

STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) — A man suspected in Northern California serial killings has been charged in four additional slayings this week, bringing the total to seven deaths since April 2021, authorities said.

The shootings terrorized the Central Valley city of Stockton earlier this year as police searched for a man clad in black who appeared to be “on a mission” as he hunted victims for ambush-style shootings. He was also tied violence in Alameda County.

Wesley Brownlee was arrested in October when he “was out hunting” for another possible victim in Stockton, police said at the time. Authorities had said they had linked him to the killings of six men and the wounding of a woman. Prosecutors charged him in a seventh killing, which had not been disclosed before, on Tuesday.

Brownlee is set to appear in court Jan. 3. His public defender, Allison Nobert, did not immediately return a request for comment.

Brownlee was initially only charged in the deaths of three victims in Stockton: Jonathan Rodriguez Hernandez, 21, who died Aug. 30; Juan Cruz, 52, who died Sept. 21; and Lawrence Lopez Sr., 54, who died Sept. 27.

The amended complaint, filed Tuesday, additionally charges Brownlee with the killings of Paul Yaw, 35, who died July 8, and Salvador Debudey Jr., 43, who died Aug. 11, in Stockton, as well as the Alameda County fatal shootings of Juan Vasquez Serrano, 39, on April 10, 2021, and Mervin Harmon on April 16, 2021.

He is also charged with attempted murder in the April 16, 2021, shooting of Natasha LaTour, 46.

Harmon had not previously been publicly linked to Brownlee’s spate of shootings.

Additional details about Harmon’s death were not immediately available.

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Prosecutor: 4 more slayings tied to California serial killer