BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A teen accused of fatally shooting a man last year in East Bakersfield appeared in a courtroom at the Juvenile Justice Center Tuesday morning, where a scheduled status conference was postponed to July.
Sonny Veleta will eventually undergo a fitness hearing where a judge will decide whether his case should be sent to adult court to face trial in the shooting death of Cesar Joseph Malta, 19.
If convicted of first-degree murder as an adult Veleta would face a life term in prison; a conviction as a juvenile would result in him being released by the time he turns 25.
Veleta was 16 when arrested.
Police dispatched to reports of a shooting the night of Aug. 12 found Malta, suffering a gunshot wound, on Oregon Street near Kern Street, according to a news release. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.