On Tuesday, October 11, after approximately 15 minutes of deliberation, a Merced County jury convicted Anthony Joseph Santos, IV, 24 years old and resident of Santa Nella, of first degree murder for gunning down Andrew May in Santa Nella on May 27, 2022. The jury also found true a special allegation that he discharged a firearm in the course of the murder. This case was prosecuted and tried to the jury by Deputy District Attorney Travis Colby.
On Friday, May 27, 2022, Anthony Santos was driving his vehicle around 7:30 a.m. when he found Andrew May walking to McDonalds with a friend. He exited his vehicle, shouted “do you bang?” and then shot Andrew May at close range seven times with a Blackout .300 firearm and fled the area. The Merced County Sheriff’s office and lead detective Daniel Ramirez conducted a thorough and intensive investigation, gathered information from numerous witnesses, nearby cameras, and collected physical evidence. This professional and exemplary investigation led to conclusive proof that Anthony Santos was the killer and detectives were able to take him into custody that evening. When taking him into custody detectives discovered a .300 Blackout caliber “ghost gun” without a serial number, numerous firearms parts, tools for finishing firearms, and several magazines of ammunition.
Anthony Joseph Santos, IV, remains in custody in Merced County pending sentencing and returns to court on Monday, November 14, 2022 in Department 2 before Merced County Superior Court judge Mark V. Bacciarini. He faces a potential sentence of 50 years to life for his crime. However, under Assembly Bill 965 signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2019, Anthony Santos is considered a youthful offender as he is under the age of 26 and will receive a parole hearing after 25 years.