Nathaniel Alexander Jara (DOB 12/21/1997), Gabriel Luis Garay (DOB 07/04/1998), Robert Joseph Garay (DOB 07/20/1991)

DA Seeks Life in Prison Without Parole for Gang Related Murder

Author: District Attorney
Date: 1/15/2020 1:22 PM

District Attorney Dan Dow seeks life in prison without possibility of parole for Robert Joseph Garay, Gabriel Luis Garay and Nathaniel Alexander Jara for the gang related murder of Daniel Fuentes.

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA, January 15, 2020 – District Attorney Dan Dow announced today his decision to seek life in prison without the possibility of parole in the case of Robert Joseph Garay (DOB 07/20/1991), Gabriel Luis Garay (DOB 07/04/1998), and Nathaniel Alexander Jara (DOB 12/21/1997) for the April 2, 2019 murder of Daniel Fuentes of Arroyo Grande.

On August 19, 2019, Robert Garay, Gabriel Garay and Nathaniel Jara were charged with the premeditated murder of Daniel Fuentes.  In addition to the first-degree murder charge, a special circumstance is alleged that the three defendants were active participants in a criminal street gang and committed the murder to further the activities of the criminal street gang.  It is also alleged that Robert Garay personally used a firearm during the commission of the murder. 

If convicted of first-degree murder and the special circumstance, all three defendants would be subject to a sentence of death or life in prison without the possibility of parole under California law.  This places on the elected District Attorney the legal authority to pursue either the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

As long as the death penalty is a lawful sentence in California, I will continue to perform my duty in a thoughtful and deliberate manner, considering all of the facts, when deciding whether or not the death penalty is appropriate,” said District Attorney Dan Dow.

The decision in this case to seek life in prison without the possibility of parole, rather than the death penalty, was made after careful consideration of all facts related to the case and the background of the defendants.  Additionally, the District Attorney consulted with surviving family members of the victim Daniel Fuentes and the involved investigative personnel.

It is important to remember that every criminal defendant is legally presumed innocent until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

For media inquiries, please contact Chief Deputy District Attorney Jerret C. Gran, (805) 781-5800.

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