Suspected Stockton serial killer linked to 7th murder with latest charges

Wesley Brownlee has been charged with four more counts of murder.

December 28, 2022, 3:21 PM

An alleged serial killer in the California city of Stockton has been linked to a seventh murder in the region, according to an amended complaint that charged the suspect with four additional counts of murder.

Wesley Brownlee, 43, was arrested in October in connection with the unprovoked murders of six men who were fatally shot between April 2021 and September 2022. Five of the killings were committed in Stockton; one was in Oakland, about 70 miles away, police said. Brownlee was also linked to the non-fatal shooting of a 46-year-old woman in Stockton in April 2021, police said.

PHOTO: Wesley Brownlee, 43, was arrested and charged with homicide Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. Authorities believe he is connected to a series of killings in Stockton, Calif.
Wesley Brownlee, 43, was arrested and charged with homicide Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. Authorities believe he is connected to a series of killings in Stockton, Calif.
Stockton Police Department

Following his arrest, Brownlee was initially charged with murder in connection with the deaths of Jonathan Rodriguez Hernandez, 21, on Aug. 30; Juan Carlos Carranza-Cruz, 52, on Sept. 21; and Lawrence Lopez, 54, on Sept. 27. More charges were expected, San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said at the time.

On Tuesday, the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office filed an amended complaint against Brownlee that included murder charges for the other three shooting victims -- Juan Vasquez, 40, who died on April 10, 2021; Paul Yaw, 35, who died on July 8; and Salvador Debudey Jr., 43, who died on Aug. 11.

The six men were alone at the time when they were fatally shot, officials said. All of the killings took place at night or in the early morning hours, police said.

The complaint also includes a seventh murder charge for the death of Mervin Harmon, who was fatally shot on April 16, 2021, in Alameda County. No details are being released on his death at this time, the district attorney's office said.

Brownlee additionally has formally been charged with the attempted murder of Natasha LaTour, in a nonfatal shooting that also occurred on April 16, 2021, according to the complaint.

"The San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office continues to collaborate with our local law enforcement agencies to ensure justice for these victims," Verber Salazar said in a statement announcing the new charges. "We would like to thank the community for their support and law enforcement for their diligent investigation and apprehension of the suspect."

PHOTO: Stockton District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar addresses the media of the arrest of Wesley Brownlee, 43, a suspect in relation to a string of killings in Stockton and Oakland, during a press conference in Stockton, California, Oct. 15, 2022.
Stockton District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar addresses the media of the arrest of Wesley Brownlee, 43, a suspect in relation to a string of killings in Stockton and Oakland, during a press conference in Stockton, California, Oct. 15, 2022.
Rahul Lal/Sipa USA via AP, FILE

Brownlee, a truck driver who prosecutors said moved to Stockton this summer, was remanded to custody following his arrest. He is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 3 for further arraignment.

ABC News did not immediately receive a response from his attorney to a call seeking comment on the new charges.

Brownlee was arrested on Oct. 15 while driving in Stockton. Police said they believe he was "out hunting" when he was nabbed and had a firearm on him.

A motive for the killings is not known, police said.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events