Kenneth Ivory Thomas, 19, and his sister Faith Thomas, 17, were arrested without incident last Wednesday in Los Angeles, ending a five-month, multi-state manhunt. Police say the siblings plotted the events which led to the murder of Mountain View residents Omar Aquino, 24, and Maria Teresa Sanchez-Aquino, 27, themselves siblings who lived on the 1900 block of Plymouth Street. Sanchez-Aquino's 8-year-old son was asleep in the next bedroom while the suspects ransacked the house before killing the two victims, police say.
The murder took place in the early morning hours of June 28. According to a complaint filed in Superior Court, the eight suspects executed an elaborate plan to rob Aquino that night, with another Thomas sibling, 15-year-old Fame, going to the movies with Aquino while others staked out the Plymouth Street house. The suspects had planned the robbery for months, the document says, and used text messages to communicate on the night of the murders. They allegedly stole an iPod and other items from the house.
Police believe Kenneth Thomas was the shooter, but all the suspects, who range in age from 15 to 22, are being charged with either murder or conspiracy to commit murder. Besides the Thomas siblings, who are Campbell residents, the suspects are: Nicory Spann, 18; Michael David Adams, 20; Kim Pham, 19; Eric Williams, 22; and Victoria Thompson, 20. Williams is from Fremont and the others are all from the South Bay. Police said they are all "connected socially," and that they knew Aquino.
Kenneth and Faith Thomas fled the state shortly after the murders, and police said they traveled by Greyhound bus, possibly stopping in Las Vegas, Florida and Georgia. The FBI became involved in the investigation after Georgia police said Kenneth was wanted for pimping out a missing 15-year-old runaway from the Bay Area. Mountain View detectives, who went to Georgia to help the investigation there, also linked Thomas to three violent robberies.
"They have been all over the place," police spokesperson Liz Wylie said of the two siblings. She said she could not comment on how police tracked down the two in Los Angeles.
Police arrested Kenneth on Nov. 26 at a hotel in Los Angeles, and took Faith into custody several hours later.
The siblings have been brought back to Santa Clara County and were arraigned Monday. They are scheduled to enter plea bargains on Dec. 15. Kenneth is charged with two counts of murder and conspiracy and could face 50 years to life in prison. Faith is charged with conspiracy to commit murder and could be sentenced to 25 years to life, said Amy Cornell, spokesperson for the District Attorney's office.
"Of course the investigation is ongoing. Charges could be added or dropped," she said. "It depends on the investigation." •