United States: a man prosecuted for three murders, the shadow of a serial killer hovers

A man suspected of committing a series of murders in California has been arrested by police as he was likely ‘hunting’ for his next victim. Wesley Brownlee, 43, was driving in the town of Stockton, where five of the murders took place, and was armed with a handgun, when he was arrested by officers in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Authorities announced on Tuesday that he was formally charged with three murders: those of Jonathan Rodriguez, 21, Juan Carlos Carranza-Cruz, 52, and Lawrence Lopez, 54, the latest three victims, of the five bodies found shot dead between July 8 and September 27. “Lawsuits will change over time. It’s just going to take a little longer,” San Joaquin District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar told reporters.

“We are waiting for additional evidence to be analyzed, which will most likely allow us (…) to add charges,” she explained, which would make him a new serial killer.

Homeless targeted

Ballistic cross-checks could allow him to be attributed another murder committed in April 2021 in Oakland, near San Francisco, and an attempted murder of a woman in this city. It is this woman, Natasha Latour, who by her description of her attacker, put the investigators on the trail of an African-American killer. She is, in the state of the elements of the file, the only woman to have been targeted. Several victims were homeless and the murders were all committed late at night or at dawn.

Stockton Police and FBI investigators were put on Brownlee’s trail thanks to the Stockton Crime Stoppers, a program that promises anonymity and cash rewards of up to $10,000 to anyone who significantly advances a crime. investigation. The suspect was placed under surveillance.

“We determined that he was on a death mission”

Followed on Saturday evening, he showed a particular behavior: dressed in black, wearing a mask around his neck, he crisscrossed the city by car, going to parks and dark places. He stopped and looked around before continuing on the road. “We determined he was on a death mission,” and decided to arrest him, Police Chief Stanley McFadden said. Brownlee was armed with a handgun.

Wesley Brownlee showed no emotion on Tuesday before the judge assigned to read his indictment, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, as relatives of the victims filled the San Joaquin County Superior Court courtroom . His motive remains unknown at this time. The truck driver, installed since this summer in Stockton, pleaded neither guilty nor innocent. Asked by the judge if he could afford a private attorney, Brownlee replied, “I’m not sure at this time.”

According to The East Bay Times, Brownlee lost a brother to a gunshot wound. He had also been arrested twice in Oakland for drug trafficking, in 1999 and then in 2001. He served a prison sentence and was released in 2003.

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