Merlin Santana Killers – Where Are They Now?


Merlin Santana killers include two young men and a teenage girl. The horrifying night of November 2002 still haunts fans worldwide.

Late American Actor, model and rapper Merlin Santana was only 26 when tragically murdered in 2002.

Merlin began his career in the early 1990s, with famous roles including Rudy Huxtable’s boyfriend Stanley on The Cosby Show, Romeo Santana on The Steve Harvey Show, Marcus Henry in Under One Roof, and Marcus Dixon on Getting By

The talented star was nominated for many awards, such as the ALMA Awards and NAACP Image Awards

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Merlin Santana Killer: Damien Andre Gates And Brandon Douglas Bynes

Merlin Santana was shot dead in Los Angeles on November 9, 2002. His killers include 21-year-old Damien Andre Gates and 25-year-old Brandon Douglas Bynes.

Merlin was sitting in a car with his Actor friend, Brandon Adams. The two had just left an acquaintance’s home in the Crenshaw District.

The perpetrator, Damien, fired a shot that entered through the vehicle’s trunk and hit Merlin’s head and killing him instantly. 

Merlin was buried at Saint Raymond’s Cemetery in the Bronx, New York City, on November 18, 2002, as shock and tributes continued to pour in.

Merlin Santana
Merlin Santana as a Child Actor. (Source: Black Doctor)

His friend survived, drove off, and flagged down a Police car. Police arrived at the scene shortly and arrested the suspects, Damien, Brandon, and a teenage girl named Monique King.

Where Are Damien Andre Gates And Brandon Douglas Bynes Now?

Damien Andre Gates and Brandon Douglas Bynes are currently serving their sentences in prison. The former is sentenced to life, while the latter will likely be out by 2026.

In 2003, Damien Andre Gates was convicted of the first-degree murder of Merlin and the attempted murder of Brandon. Consequently, he was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences and 70 years in prison.

Damien was not the only one. Brandon Douglas Bynes, another suspect with Damien during the shooting, received a 23-year sentence after pleading guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and voluntary manslaughter.

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The survivor, Brandon Quintin Adams, is an American Actor known for his roles in Mighty DucksThe Sandlot, and Polly. He had also appeared in The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirMoeshaA Different World, Boy Meets WorldQuantum Leap, and Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker.

Brandon Adams
Brandon Adams is a Quintessential 90s actor. (Source: Magic 95.9)

However, he has been relatively absent since the incident, with only one narration role in the 2021 film The Resort.

Adams is 43 years old as of November 2022. He is originally from Topeka, Kansas, U.S.

Monique King Was One Of The Accomplices Of Merlin Santana Murder

There were three people were arrested soon after the killing of Santana. Along with Damien Andre Gates and Brandon Douglas Bynes, Monique King was also charged.

LAPD prosecutors involved in the case reported that a teenage girl named Monique King, who was 15 and reportedly shooter Damien’s girlfriend, falsely claimed that Merlin made sexual advances towards her.

monique-king
Monique King was one of the culprits of Merlin Santana’s murder. (Source; Quit Using Excuses)

They said that Merlin and his friend had been at a nearby home with Monique the night of the murder. The girl left and later returned outside the residence with Damien and Brandon.

Her accusation prompted the attack. So, Monique was found guilty of second-degree murder and attempted murder in January 2004.

However, she was acquitted of two murder charges and received ten years in juvenile custody because of her young age. It is likely that she is now free of her sentence and living a civilian life. 

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