The jury blocks murder and robbery allegations in the death of the lawyer in Bakersfield

Posted: May 6, 2021 / 2:22 PM PDT
Updated: May 6, 2021 / 7:20 PM PDT

UPDATE: The jury voted 9: 3 guilty of the number of robberies and 11: 1 of the number of murders. An earlier vote on the murder number was also 9-3.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – A Kern County jury was bogged down Thursday for murder and robbery after advising five days in the trial of a man charged with the gruesome murder of a Bakersfield attorney.

A mistrial was declared on these charges. The jury convicted 22-year-old Nicholas Quintana of gun possession for having an illegal firearm at the time of his arrest.

Judge Brian M. McNamara scheduled a hearing on May 18 to set a retrial date. Quintana is being held without bail.

When asked by McNamara, each juror said that further consideration would not result in a verdict on the deadlocked censuses.

The foreman of the jury declined to speak to a reporter afterwards.

Quintana is charged with the murder of Marcos Vargas, 26, on November 29, 2017. Quintana testified that he stabbed Vargas in self-defense when he tried to escape Vargas’ apartment after the lawyer invited him.

Prosecutor Eric Smith argued that Quintana planned to rob and attack Vargas after meeting him on a dating app. Vargas was almost beheaded. Quintana admitted stealing items from the apartment.

Vargas was working for Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance at the time of his death.

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