Man Indicted In Reno Triple Killings

By: STAFF
By: STAFF

A 19-year-old man has been indicted by a Washoe County grand jury on charges of killing three people at an off-campus college Halloween party in Reno following a dispute on a crowded dance floor.

The indictment handed up Wednesday charges Samisone Taukitoku of
three counts of open murder and four counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Snowboarder Charles Coogan Kelly, 21, of Truckee, Calif.; University of Nevada, Reno student Derek Kyle Jensen, 23, of Reno, and former UNR student Nathan Viljoen, 23, of Fallon, were shot and killed Oct. 28 at the party attended by several UNR athletes.

Another person charged in the case, Saili Manu, 19, is scheduled to be arraigned Jan 16 on two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Police said before the shootings, former sophomore basketball forward Tyrone Hanson argued with Taukitoku, who had bumped him in an area where people were dancing.

Taukitoku and Manu, who both had pistols, allegedly beat Hanson unconscious and stole his wallet and belongings, police said.

Hanson was later dismissed from the team by Nevada coach Mark Fox because he disobeyed an edict to stay home that night.

The three shooting victims were not involved in the dance floor altercation, but were shot later.

Viljoen was shot in the kitchen, Jensen was shot in the driveway and Kelly was found in the backyard, police said.

Manu is the brother of Charles Manu, a senior offensive lineman for Nevada.

Police said the younger Manu wore his brother's Nevada football jersey to the party.

Saili Manu's lawyer, Robert Bell, said his client intends to plead guilty to the charges for pointing a gun at two people.

"The main thing we want to show the court is that he was never charged with any murder-related crimes," Bell told the media. "He didn't fire a gun, shoot or kill anyone."

Authorities have said Manu crashed the party with his juvenile cousin and Taukitoku.

The cousin was arrested later on unrelated charges.

Bell said Manu and Taukitoku received text messages from other people at the gathering, telling them to come over.

He said when they arrived it was already crowded and fights were under way.

Bell said the three had been at the party only briefly before the shootings occurred.


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