College student suspected in attorney’s murder allegedly tied to armed robbery


New details on the suspect in arguably one of the  most brutal Bakersfield homicides in recent years. Last month 19-year-old Nicholas Quintana was arrested and charged with the murder of an up and coming local attorney. But new court documents suggest his criminal record doesn’t stop there.

The details of the murder of Marcos Vargas are gruesome. The crime is all the more unnerving with reports paining the suspect, Quintana, as a quiet college student, living at home with his parents-focused on studying and working as an ice cream attendant at Rite Aid. But detectives allege Quintana has a dark side, very dark. Evidence in the November murder of 26-year-old Marcos Vargas eventually led detectives to Quintana after they found the two men talked on a dating site. 

Reports say Vargas was nearly beheaded while he was still alive. Naked and badly bleeding, he managed to make his way out of his apartment begging for help before dying in the hallway. When Quintana was arrested last month, detectives found a black ski mask and rifle in his car.

A search of his cell phone led investigators to text messages with someone Quintana called babe, later found to be his girlfriend.

On April 13, seven months after the killing, she texted him “it’s on the news.”Quintana responded by telling her he’d seen it and that he’s armed with a rifle. She wrote back “lol your not 6 foot” to which he responded: “5’6”. This all made sense to detectives when they found a press release discussing an El Pollo Loco robbery on April 12.

Police asked for the public’s help in identifying“the robber-described as between 5’6 to 6 foot tall. In the El Pollo Locco robbery, a masked gunman demanded money from the register before taking off.

This new evidence linking Nicholas Quintana to the El Pollo Loco robbery has prompted detectives to see what other crimes the college student could be connected to. For now he hasn’t been charged with robbery. He’s in court next for first degree murder next month.

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