A 20-year-old man arrested in a September homicide has also been connected to last year's fatal shooting in South Merced's Sunnyside Apartments, police said Thursday.
Lo Sin Saeturn was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Merced County Superior Court on one count of murder for allegedly shooting Kai Saelee, 33, to death Sept. 9 at a residence near G Street and Childs Avenue.
Thursday afternoon, however, prosecutors with the Merced County District Attorney's Office said they're filing another count of murder against Saeturn for allegedly killing 20-year-old Destry Woods on Aug. 4, 2011 in the driveway of the Sunnyside Apartments in the 900 block of D Street.
Deputy District Attorney David Elgin, the prosecutor in the case, said Saeturn's arraignment hearing's now scheduled for Monday, due to the latest developments in the case. He'll now be charged with two counts of murder for allegedly killing Saelee and Woods.
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Police have said the suspect and Saelee were both members of rival gang. But Woods wasn't a documented gang member, according to Merced Police Detective Chris Russell, the lead detective in the case.
Russell said Woods may have been targeted by Saeturn because he was wearing a blue sweatshirt the night he was killed. Blue is commonly associated with some gangs. "We think there was some sort of argument that led to (Woods' death) and we believe there were gang motives," Russell said.
Solving such cases can be particularly challenging, Russell said, because of the fear gangs instill in the public, making tips to police few and far between.
Still, Russell said detectives "knew to a certain degree" about Saeturn's involvement in Woods' death. "We just weren't able to piece it together until fairly recently," Russell said.
Saeturn's cousin, Sou Finn Saeturn, 23, is also being held as a suspect in the Saelee homicide case.
Both suspects remain at the Merced County Jail without bail.
City Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.