Man pleads no contest to voluntary manslaughter in shooting of 19-year-old

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — When a man approached with fists raised, challenging him to fight, Jose Santiago Velasquez raised a gun and fired.

Velasquez told detectives he intended to hit 19-year-old Nicolas Villarreal in the leg. The round struck him in the chest.

Villarreal died at the scene.

On Wednesday, Velasquez, 51, pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter, and charges of second-degree murder, shooting at an inhabited dwelling and recklessly discharging a firearm were dismissed.

Sentencing is set for Jan. 12.

The shooting happened Dec. 28, 2019, after a “domestic disagreement” in which Velasquez told investigators Villarreal and several other men tried to enter his home in the 1900 block of Missouri Avenue and fight his son, according to court documents.

Velasquez said he fired a warning shot but the men refused to leave, the documents said. He told detectives he then fired at Villarreal to protect his family.

Velasquez led investigators to an area of the backyard where he buried the revolver used in the shooting, the documents said.

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