RENO — 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 after 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 that before the shootings, former sophomore basketball forward Tyrone Hanson argued with Taukitoku, who had bumped into 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 had 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 Reno Gazette-Journal. “He didn’t fire a gun, shoot or kill anyone.”
Authorities have said Saili Manu crashed the party with his juvenile cousin and Taukitoku. The cousin was arrested later on unrelated charges.