Three men set to be arraigned in connection to Halloween gang stabbing in 2001

SAN JOSE — Three men, including two brothers, are scheduled to be arraigned Friday in connection to a Halloween gang stabbing murder that occurred 20 years ago, according to authorities.

Eutropio Dagaray, 47; Francis Dagaray, 45; and Gilbert Meriales, 45; all of San Jose, were charged with murder, among other charges, and will be arraigned on Friday, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said in a Thursday news release. If convicted, the men could face life in prison.

The men were arrested last week and booked into the Main Jail on charges of encompassing murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and allegations of gang motives, police said on Wednesday.

Officials said Nhin Phi Ha, 22, was killed on October 31, 2001 by the three men, who were members of the Bahala Na gang and “looking for revenge” after Meriales was beaten up earlier that night. The three men attacked two people in front of an apartment at Avalani Drive and Ha was stabbed to death while another man was injured. A Balisong knife was left at the scene.

According to Mercury News archives and police, two men were seen fleeing the scene in a dark-colored SUV and were sought in the aftermath of the killing.

(Left to Right): Francis Dagaray, Eutropio Dagaray and Gilbert Meriales were arrested October 6 for homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, and gang enhancements in the fatal October 31, 2001 stabbing of Nhin Phi Ha. (Courtesy of San Jose Police) 

The suspects had painted faces, according to the survivor and witnesses at the scene. The survivor’s brother also threw a kitchen knife at the SUV as it drove away, officials said. The case went cold after years of investigation.

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A San Jose detective and a District Attorney investigator compiled new and old evidence, including “a bloody butterfly knife, reported nightmares, a scratched SUV and Facebook posts that showed the suspects were active in a street gang.”

The District Attorney’s Cold Case Unit has solved 16 murders since January 2011.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News

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