A prominent member of a San Diego County Indian tribe was charged yesterday (Oct. 23) with murder in the stabbing death of a man outside a Nelly concert, but no charges were filed against a tribal cha

A prominent member of a San Diego County Indian tribe was charged yesterday (Oct. 23) with murder in the stabbing death of a man outside a Nelly concert, but no charges were filed against a tribal chairman who was also jailed. Bond was set at $750,000 for Hank Banegas, 27, who is accused of killing a San Diego man and wounding another during a fight outside the Nelly show last Friday at the Coors Amphitheater in Chula Vista.

Charges were not filed against Steven TeSam, 42, chairman of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, clearing him for immediate release, Deputy District Attorney Jeff Dusek said. "We're not in a position to file a case against Mr. TeSam at this point. We may never, but we will continue to investigate," Dusek said.

Banegas, his uncle TeSam, and a 16-year-old relative were jailed following the assault, in which Faitamai Tauanuu was killed and Sean Bowers wounded. Banegas is charged with murder, attempted murder, inflicting great bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon. The charges, which also carry the allegation of use of a knife, could carry a penalty of 26 years to life in prison, Dusek said.

Dusek said Banegas' party and the victims' group became involved in a verbal argument that escalated into violence as fans left the venue. Tauanuu, 30, was slain as he attempted to break up the fight and persuade the two sides to disperse, according to Dusek. He was the "peacemaker," Dusek said. "He was trying to solve the disturbance."

Nelly's tour rolls into Albany, N.Y., tonight.


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