A Fresno man could be facing charges for murder- a murder he didn’t commit, see, or plan.
Last May, Fabian Mansanalez stole a truck with the plans of stripping it for parts, enlisting the help of Jose Canas to do so for a payday of $200. The truck was taken to a Biola property, where Jose Canas set to work removing the rims, while Mansanalez and his sister waited on standby in a getaway car for the transaction to be completed. That’s when George Salwasser, Jr., the owner of the Biola property, walked in. Salwasser interrupted the rim removal, and as he was calling 911, Canas shot and killed him.
Now Mansanalez is facing trial for the murder, with prosecutors stating that he is also a murderer because he started the entire chain of events, knowing the potential dangers. In fact, this wasn’t the first time Mansanalez has had a run-in with the law. Just three months prior to the shooting of Salwasser, Mansanalez was arrested for dismantling a different stolen car. At the time, Mansanalez was carrying a knife, which he told Officer Tariguchi of the Fresno Police Department he was carrying because he “didn’t want to run into trouble.”
The prosecution is claiming that by carrying the knife, Mansanalez knew a death could be one of the consequences of his actions. However his attorney, Mark Siegel, cites that there are many reasons for carrying a knife, such as for self-defense in a tough neighborhood. He also states that compared to what Canas did, all of Mansanalez’s crimes are petty.
“But he’s being tried here for murder, for murder, for a murder that everyone acknowledges he didn’t actually commit…,” said Siegel. “Ask yourself if it’s just and fair to put Fabian Mansanalez in the same box, in the same category, in which you would put Jose Canas.”
A jury began deliberating Mansanalez’s case this morning, Wednesday Sept. 3rd. If convicted of murder, he faces 15 years to life. Jose Canas is scheduled for trial later this fall.
Mansanalez has been found not guilty for the murder of Salwasser. Instead, the jury found him guilty of possession of a stolen vehicle and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Charles Magill’s relentless and creative style of legal service has resulted in more than 150 jury and court trial victories. Because of his uncanny ability to explain complex legal cases with unmistakable clarity, many news organizations, including FOX, ABC, CBS, NPR, NBC, The Wall Street Journal and The Fresno Bee, have sought his concise legal insight in interviews. He is an active member in the local Fresno Community and a member of the Greater Fresno Area Chamber of Commerce. He and his firm have received multiple awards of recognition, many of which are a direct result of client nomination.