Mom of victim in Visalia triple homicide speaks out after arrests made in case

KSEE24 News

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KGPE) – It’s been almost two years since Isaiah Rule, Jose Hernandez Pena and Blake Mederios were killed in the parking lot behind Golden West High School.

Their case went unsolved for almost 2 years, but on Thursday authorities announced the arrests of 20-year-old Mark Aceves, 19-year-old Cesar Lopez and 20-year-old Abraham Molina. Police say Molina was the one to fire the gun that killed the three teens.

Nikkole Rule-Balderrama says when she found out the police had made multiple arrests in her son’s murder, it felt like a weight was lifted off of her shoulders. 

“I’m here and I’m still fighting for him and I won’t stop,” Rule Balderrama said.

Rule Balderrama lost her son, Isaiah Rule, on May 5, 2020 when he was shot and killed in the parking lot of Golden West High School with two other teens.

“Your life’s gone just like you took my son’s life, now your life is gonna be gone too.”

While solving their homicide- authorities uncovered a multinational drug and firearm conspiracy stretching from the Central Valley to Texas and Mexico. In total over 30 people have been arrested.

But for Rule Balderrama, what matters is not only that her son’s killers are in custody, but that they stay there.

“The first chapter to justice has been fulfilled by arresting the people that did this, but that they stay behind bars for the rest of their lives.”

Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward says each of the three suspects is facing three counts of first-degree murder- and because of the circumstances, the death penalty is on the table.

“I just wanted it to be where this case was solid. That’s all that I asked them. Please make sure this case is solid where they’re gonna be behind bars for the rest of their lives,” she said.

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