BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – A lawsuit began with the deaths of three people on Friday in 2010 and ended years of postponement where lawyers came and went and the accused killer spent time in a state hospital.
Tokunbo Okuwoga is charged with three homicide cases, among others, in which Felipe Bravo Jr., 22, Bravo’s father Felipe Bravo Sr., 43, and the younger man’s girlfriend, Daina Caraveo, 22, were killed.
Okuwoga, 32, is faced with life in prison with no parole if convicted. He sat hunched over in the courtroom, rocking back and forth throughout the trial.
Okuwoga is believed to have shot Bravo Jr. to prevent him from testifying against him in connection with an attempted robbery they committed the previous year. A third man involved in the attempted robbery was in the house on Bradley Avenue’s 2000 block when the shooting took place, but according to court records, he ran and was hiding in a closet.
That man, Anh Vu Bui, will testify that Okuwoga was furious for believing Bui spoke to law enforcement, Prosecutor Eric Smith said in his opening speech. Smith said the murders are directly related to the 2009 robbery attempt because Okuwoga wanted to eliminate anyone who could use him on the previous crime.
Smith said Bravo Jr. and Caraveo were executed on the night of September 22, 2010, both shot in the ear. Bravo Sr. also received a gunshot wound to the head.
Caraveo’s children, 2 and 5, were in the house at the time. They were unharmed and were lying under blankets in the room where the bodies of Caraveo and Bravo Jr. were found. Bravo Sr. was alive when the police found him in another room, but died a short time later.
Okuwoga fled to Fresno immediately after the murders and was arrested the next day when he got on a bus to Los Angeles, Smith said.
Gary Turnbull, Okuwoga’s attorney, reserved his opening statement until the prosecution closed their case.
Okuwoga was previously represented by lawyers Michael C. Lukehart and Fred Gagliardini. They have since withdrawn.
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