Teen and two others arrested in connection with Merced homicide case, police say

Three people, including a 17-year-old teen, have been arrested in connection with last month’s Merino Park homicide in Merced.

Officers responded on Aug. 12 to the roundabout intersection of El Redondo Drive and Pacific Drive, near Merino Park, and located two victims, police said.

The victims, 20-year-old Merced man Samuel Bernal, and a 17-year-old male, were transported to area hospitals.

Bernal suffered major injuries and died two days later, according to the Merced County Coroner’s Office. The teenager’s injuries weren’t life-threatening, and he was released from the hospital.

Courtesy Merced Police Department

Two adults, 23-year-old Deshawn Peterson and 26-year-old Dasha Winzer, were arrested on suspicion of being accessories to the homicide.

Police have not commented on a possible motive for the deadly violence.

Courtesy Merced Police Department
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Vikaas Shanker is an award-winning reporter covering education, crime and courts for the Merced Sun-Star and Los Banos Enterprise. After growing up in Naperville, Illinois and graduating from the University of Kansas, he reported in several Chicago suburbs before moving to Merced County in 2016.