San Manuel Gaming Chip

Monday, May 18, 2015 – 09:00 a.m.

With selection of a new jury complete. The long-awaited trial to see how much more money, if any, Plaintiff Leonard Epps will get from San Manuel Tribal Members, and siblings, Erik Barajas and Stacy Nunez-Barajas, will resume Monday morning.

The two Tribe members conspired, with members of the Mexican Mafia, to kill Epps, who at the time was the manager of the now closed Brass Key Lounge in Highland.

Federal agents, working in tandem with the San Bernardino Police, stumbled onto the plot and quickly intervened.

Both Barajas’ struck plea deals with San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos, who eventially allowed the two to receive 15-years probation. Nunez-Barajas is currently serving a lengthy prison term for violating probation.

Full status members of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians currently receive pro-rata profit distributions of $100,000 per month, with an additional lumps sum payout in December of each year.

A previous jury already awarded Epps just over $4.5 million in compensatory damages. That jury fell below the minimum number of twelve jurors and was unable to complete the punitive damages phase.

A punitive damages award could reach as high as ten times the compensatory award.

Highland Attorney Frank Peterson is representing Epps. San Bernardino Attorney Joseph Arias represents the defense.