A California man who was arrested in connection with a series of killings in Stockton was charged with three counts of murder Tuesday – and accused of using a so-called ghost gun in the slayings.
Wesley Brownlee, 43, was charged for the shooting deaths of Jonathan Rodriguez Hernandez, 21; Juan Carlos Carranza-Cruz, 52; and Lawrence Lopez, 54, San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office said.
He also was charged with one count of a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of possession of ammunition.
“We charged the cases today because we believe we have sufficient evidence to pursue these charges and prove them beyond a reasonable doubt,” District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said at a news conference Tuesday.
Brownlee was arrested Saturday on suspicion of killing six men and wounding a woman while driving the streets of the city as he was dressed in black with a mask around his neck and a gun by his side, police said.
Salazar said the weapon tied to the Stockton slayings is a ghost gun, a firearm that can be 3D-printed without a serial number or a required usual background check.
“We can prove with high confidence the same gun was used in the three homicides we’re charging you with today,” Salazar said, addressing the suspect.
Salazar said she expects additional charges in two other murders, as well as attempted murder.
A fifth homicide in Oakland has been linked to the case, but the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office said it was unclear whether Brownlee would be charged.
Prosecutors would not say whether Brownlee knew any of the victims personally.
Brownlee did not enter a plea and was scheduled to return to court on Nov. 14.
The two other victims killed in Stockton this year were identified as Paul Yaw, 35, and Salvador Debudey Jr., 43.
Juan Vasquez Serrano, 39, was killed in Oakland on April 10, 2021, and Natasha LaTour, 46, was shot in Stockton on April 16 that year but survived.
Brownlee has a criminal history that includes traffic violations and convictions for drug crimes in Alameda County that goes back to an arrest when he was 15 years old, The East Bay Times reported.
He was most recently discharged from parole in 2006.
With Post wires