BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Israel Alvarez went to Grimmway Farms looking for a job, according to his attorney. He ended up charged with two felonies.
A Kern County jury on Thursday acquitted Alvarez of vandalism and threats charges stemming from the June 8 incident. Grimmway staff had accused him of driving onto an organic onion harvest and, when confronted by employees, brandishing the butt stock of a rifle and threatening to kill them, according to a Kern County Public Defender’s Office release.
It was alleged Alvarez caused more than $65,000 in damage. He faced more than four years in prison if convicted.
Deputy Public Defender Thomas Pope presented evidence Alvarez went to the location looking to get hired and was given a job by the foreman. He accidentally drove onto the onion field while leaving and quickly backed out, the release said.
An independent contractor approached Alvarez’s car and they argued. Alvarez had a pellet gun in his front passenger seat that would have been clearly visible, the release said. He drove away but was arrested soon after “and accused of things that never happened,” according to the release.
No documents, receipts or other evidence was presented at trial showing Alvarez damaged property, the release said. The trial started earlier this month.