BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Eric Nichols, an alleged veteran gang member convicted of two counts of murder, had his sentencing postponed Tuesday after a judge granted a motion by Nichols’ attorney to be taken off the case.
Defense lawyer Greg Mitts did not publicly state why he asked to be relieved, but confirmed with the court, after a discussion in Judge John W. Lua’s chambers, that it had to do with circumstances that have occurred since October. Court records show Nichols’ prior sentencing date was Oct. 7.
Lua set a hearing Dec. 14 to confirm new counsel for Nichols, 50. It’s expected a sentencing date will be scheduled at that time.
A Kern County jury convicted Nichols of the Aug. 4, 2020, shooting deaths of Paul Ray Shawn Dean, 47, and Jerome Patrick Davis, 37, at the intersection of 10th and M streets. Both men were shot at close range about a minute apart and died almost immediately, prosecutors said.
Authorities found Nichols two days later hiding at a motel in Wasco. A gun with Nichols’ DNA on it was linked to the killings, prosecutors said.
Nichols was also convicted of carjacking and robbery for other offenses that occurred Aug. 2 and Aug. 4, 2020.