A Bakersfield man was convicted by a jury Thursday for the murder of a local security guard and father of three. Jesus Aragon was found guilty of the murder of Frank Flores, a security guard at the Mercado Latino on Edison Highway.
Judge Kenneth Twisselman did not allow 17 News cameras in the courtroom when the jury returned the guilty verdict against Aragon. Flores was a Kern County Reserve Sheriff's Deputy. He was working at Mercado Latino to make extra money while he finished school.
Sheriff's deputies say on July 18, 2010, Flores kicked three to four men out of the Tacos Los Amigos restaurant. Investigators say later that night, the men returned and lured Flores to the parking lot and fired multiple shots, killing him.
After 17 days of trial, a jury found Jesus Aragon, whose real name is Richard Castillo, guilty of first degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. Prosecutors say witnesses identified Aragon as the shooter and their testimony led to his conviction.
"If you see a crime of violence like this, please, the only way we can stop it is for people to come forward and people show the courage to come to court, testify, and see that these people are held accountable for destroying our communities," said David Zulfa, Deputy District Attorney.
Prosecutors say the other two suspects in this case are still on the loose more than two years later.
"People are afraid to come forward because they don't want to suffer the same fate as the victim they just saw killed. What I tell them is the only way to keep that from happening in our community is for these people to be held accountable, and Jesus Aragon is not going to be able to attack our community like that again," continued Zulfa.
Sheriff's deputies are still looking for Jose Torres and Juan Vasquez. If you know where they are, call 861-3110.
Aragon is scheduled to be sentenced October 19th. Prosecutors say he could be sentenced to 25 years to life for each charge, which means he would not be eligible for parole for 50 years.