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.