Fresno Murder Defendant’s Attorney Says Client Not Guilty, Victims’ Son Committed The Crime
The defense attorney for a Fresno man accused of planning the murder of a couple from Kerman in2009 says that it was the couple’s son who committed the crime and not his client. Tim Pori, attorney for Neko Wilson, filed a motion to have Eric De Bartolo, 35, the son of murdered couple Gary and Sandra De Bartolo, put on the stand for questioning. Fresno County Superior Court Judge John E. Vogt denied the motion, saying it would not clear Wilson of the murder charges even if any involvement by De Bartolo in the crime could be proven.
“We don’t have to clear our client, we just have to raise a reasonable doubt" of his guilt, Pori said. “In my opinion there is overwhelming evidence that Eric De Bartolo set this thing up."
The Fresno Bee reports that “Pori said he interviewed a confidential informant who repeatedly had warned law enforcement weeks before that a home-invasion robbery would occur at the De Bartolos’ home . . . The informant said thieves wanted marijuana grown in the home by Gary De Bartolo, 61, and that Eric De Bartolo wanted insurance money as well as family money that included winnings his father amassed while gambling."
Russell VanRozeboom, Eric De Bartolo’s attorney, says his client had nothing to do with the crime and will testify at trial, and that his statements to law enforcement were videotaped and available to Posi and defense lawyers of others accused in the crime.
“Mr. De Bartolo is the victim, his parents were murdered," VanRozeboom said.
Two men have already pleaded guilty to manslaughter in relation to the killings and face 26 years in state prison. The trial for Wilson and three other defendants is scheduled for January 7, 2013.