A Kerman man was sentenced Monday to three years of probation for his role in the killing of a Kerman High School football player at a party in October 2011.
In announcing the punishment, Judge Alvin Harrell III said in Fresno County Superior Court that David Magallon, 27, did not kill 18-year-old Lynn Snowden. Magallon pleaded no contest to being an accessory after the killing; he drove the killer, Manuel Ray Villareal, away from the crime scene.
Villareal, 24, has been sentenced to prison after pleading no contest to manslaughter.
Sheriff’s deputies said dozens of people attended the party when a fight broke out between Villareal and Snowden at Eighth Street and Sunset Avenue on Oct. 22, 2011. As partygoers watched, Villareal stabbed Snowden to death.
After the killing, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims asked for the public’s helping help in solving the crime, saying Snowden, a senior at Kerman High, was not a gang member. “He was a person who attended a party. A fight broke out and he was murdered,” Mims said. “He was a young person who had goals. We need to remember what [he] could have contributed to the community.”
In January 2012, deputies arrested Villareal and Magallon in Kerman.
Originally charged with murder, Villareal accepted a plea deal and pleaded no contest in January this year to manslaughter and to his involvement in a gang. On Feb. 26, he was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
Monday, Magallon and Snowden’s family declined to talk about the killing. Harrell expressed his condolences to Snowden’s family.
In announcing the sentence, Harrell said Magallon’s only prior conviction was misdemeanor possession of marijuana. The judge also noted that Magallon has been free on bail for two years and had stayed out of trouble.
Afterward, Magallon’s attorney, Mark Broughton, said probation was appropriate because his client was inside a house when Snowden was killed outside in a fight over a girl. He said Magallon then unwittingly gave Villareal a ride from the crime scene.
Magallon is living at an undisclosed location. Harrell said Magallon only has to tell probation of his whereabouts because of threats to his life.