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Schwarzenegger Commutation Fabian Nunez.JPGA Sacramento judge today combined and retained the two lawsuits that challenged former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's commutation of the 16-year prison sentence of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez's son.

Superior Court Judge Laurie M. Earl found that the case is "much further along" in Sacramento than in San Diego and ruled that the case stay here.

Núñez's son, Esteban Núñez, was convicted in the fatal stabbing of Luis Santos at a party in San Diego. Schwarzenegger, in one of his last acts as California governor, commuted Esteban Nunez's sentence to seven years.

Lawsuits challenging the action were filed in San Diego by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and in Sacramento by Luis Santos' parents. Attorneys for the state sought to have the case consolidated and heard in Sacramento.

Fred Santos, the father of the slain victim and a Northern California resident whose attorneys filed suit in Sacramento, said it does not matter to him where the case is heard.

"We did not file a lawsuit to find convenience in our life," Santos told reporters after today's hearing. "We filed the lawsuit to seek justice for our son."

San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Laura E. Tanney argued that the case should be heard in San Diego because that's where her clients' son was killed and where other victims also were injured.

"It's where the tip of the governor's sword slashed against justice," she told the court.

PHOTO CREDIT: Former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, D-Los Angeles, listens in Sacramento Superior Court on July 11 as attorneys argue their case in the the lawsuit against the state of California and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for reducing the manslaughter sentence for Núñez's son, Esteban, who was one of the men convicted in the 2008 slaying of Luis Santos. (AP Photo/ Rich Pedroncelli)


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