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Fabian Nuñez gave Kindle to official at prison where son is serving sentence

January 10, 2011 |  1:27 pm

Amazon Kindle 3.0 Former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez sent a present to an employee at the state prison where Nuñez's son is serving a sentence for his role in the stabbing death of a San Diego college student, a Department of Corrections spokeswoman said Monday.

Nuñez sent a Kindle electronic reading device to an administrative assistant to the warden at Mule Creek State Prison where Esteban Nuñez is serving a sentence in the October 2008 stabbing death of Luis Santos during a drunken street brawl.

The administrative assistant is the point of contact for prisoners' families and occasionally receives thank you cards, corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton said.

When the administrative assistant returned from vacation in December and found the gift, she immediately returned it to Fabian Nuñez and explained to him that it was inappropriate for her to receive such gifts.

"Mr. Nuñez was very apologetic," Thornton said.

On his last day in office, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reduced the sentence of Esteban Nuñez, now 21, from 16 years to seven years in prison. He had pleaded guilty to manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon.

Schwarzenegger agreed with Esteban Nuñez's lawyers that the 16-year sentence was excessive and that it was wrong for the judge to sentence him to the same term as the co-defendant who admitted plunging the knife into Santos' heart.

News of the Kindle gift was first published in the Sacramento Bee. A Kindle can currently be purchased on Amazon.com for $139 plus shipping.

Mule Creek State Prison is in Ione, 40 miles southeast of Sacramento. Esteban Nuñez was allowed to remain free on bail until he was sentenced in June.

Esteban Nuñez is housed in a "special needs yard" at Mule Creek along with Lyle Menendez, one of the two brothers who became notorious for the slayings of their parents in Beverly Hills, and Andrew Luster, the wealthy great-grandson of cosmetics magnate Max Factor who was convicted of serial rape.

RELATED:

Father 'outraged' Schwarzenegger reduced sentence of politician's son in murder case

Villaraigosa won't say if he backs Schwarzenegger's decision to cut prison time for Nuñez's son

San Diego County D.A. blasts Schwarzenegger's decision to reduce sentence of Fabian Nuñez's son

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Amazon Kindle. Credit: Amazon.com Inc. / Associated Press

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