Jury deadlocks on murder and robbery charges in Bakersfield attorney’s death

Crime Watch

Marcos Vargas is pictured on the left, while murder defendant Nicholas Quintana and defense lawyer Timothy Hennessy are at right.

UPDATE: The jury voted 9-3 for guilty on the robbery count and 11-1 for guilty on the murder count. An earlier vote on the murder count was also 9-3.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Kern County jury on Thursday deadlocked on charges of murder and robbery after deliberating five days in the trial of a man accused in the grisly killing of a Bakersfield attorney.

A mistrial was declared on those charges. The jury convicted Nicholas Quintana, 22, on a weapons charge for possessing an illegal firearm at the time of his arrest.

Judge Brian M. McNamara scheduled a hearing May 18 to set a date for retrial. Quintana remains held without bail.

Questioned by McNamara, each juror said further deliberations would not result in them reaching a verdict on the deadlocked counts.

The jury foreperson declined to speak to a reporter afterward.

Quintana is charged in the killing of Marcos Vargas, 26, on Nov. 29, 2017. Quintana testified he stabbed Vargas in self-defense while trying to escape from Vargas’ apartment after the attorney invited him over.

Prosecutor Eric Smith argued Quintana planned to rob and attack Vargas after meeting him on a dating app. Vargas was nearly decapitated. Quintana admitted to stealing items from the apartment.

Vargas worked for Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance at the time of his death.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News

More Local News