Pixel Tracker

Wednesday, December 12 , 2018, 7:18 pm | Fair with Haze 53º


Man Charged With Fatally Shooting Younger Brother Allowed to Attend His Funeral

Fernando Navarro Click to view larger
Fernando Navarro

A Santa Maria Superior Court judge has decided Fernando Navarro can attend the funeral for his younger brother, whom he has been charged with fatally shooting 10 days ago.

While authorizing the temporary 5-hour release from jail during a hearing Tuesday morning, Judge John McGregor also said the defendant, or his family., must pay costs for the two armed Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies who will transport and escort Navarro.

“This is an incredibly tragic situation,” McGregor said, adding that allowing Navarro to attend the funeral will not remove the pain of the family’s loss.

On Feb. 3, the defendant’s younger brother, Leonardo Navarro, 13, was shot accidentally in a residence on the 600 block of West Polk Street. 

The injured boy was transported by medical helicopter to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he later was declared dead. 

Fernando Navarro, 19, was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter, discharge of a firearm with gross negligence, and unlawful firearm activity. 

He also faces special allegations he personally used a firearm and inflicted great bodily injury.

At the time of the shooting, Navarro was on probation for brandishing a replica firearm. His probation on that case was not set to end until January 2020.

Last week, attorney Sara Elturk from the Santa Barbara County Public Defender’s Office sought the temporary release, but the matter was delayed to Tuesday.

“Your honor, what occurred a couple of weeks ago to the Navarro family is a tragedy,” Elturk said Tuesday. “The whole family, including Fernando, are devoted and in mourning. The request today is to allow Fernando to mourn with this family.”

His family also supported Navarro attending the funeral and the defendant did not plan to be disruptive, she added.

Deputy District Attorney Mai Trieu said she opposed the temporary release. 

Trieu expressed concern for the safety of Navarro and the community, referring to issues raised during private conversations involving the attorneys and judge.

“Although it is tragic and the people understand and sympathize and empathize the plight Mr. Navarro is in, Mr. Navarro is charged in the homicide of his younger brother,” she said, arguing that a temporary release would not appropriate .

The family reportedly will pay between $1,000 and $1,200 for Navarro to attend the funeral for Leonardo, who was an eighth-grader at Tommie Kunst Junior High School. The funeral Mass is planned for 1 p.m. Wednesday at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church.

The judge also said Navarro would be restrained and shackled as the sheriff’s deputies deem necessary. 

Meanwhile, the criminal case also Navarro will return to court March 8, when the judge and attorneys are expected to set a date for the preliminary hearing.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.