Man testifies he didn’t mean to kill attorney who was nearly decapitated

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Nicholas Quintana testified he knew he had injured a local attorney during a struggle but didn’t know he had died.

An incredulous prosecutor pointed out that earlier testimony indicated the attorney had nearly been decapitated. How could Quintana not know he killed the man?

“I didn’t mean to do that,” Quintana said during his testimony Friday on the eighth day of his murder trial.

Quintana, 22, also testified he was the person who chatted with Marcos Vargas on a dating app before going to the attorney’s southeast Bakersfield apartment, where Vargas was stabbed multiple times early Nov. 29, 2017. He said a cellphone retrieved during the investigation belonged to him, and acknowledged going to Vargas’ apartment both the night before and the night of the attorney’s death.

Vargas, 26, worked at Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance at the time of his death.

Prosecutor Eric Smith has said Quintana stabbed Vargas then stole his cellphone before driving to his girlfriend’s home in Long Beach. Data retrieved from cell towers and the dating app, as well as DNA evidence, identified Quintana as the killer, he said.

Pointing out certain exchanges where Quintana agreed with certain statements a woman on the app made, Smith asked the defendant if he was “disgusted” by gay sex.

Quintana denied that was the case. He testified he was “not really” offended when men on the dating app propositioned him.

Timothy Hennessy, Quintana’s attorney, has told the jury his client is not a murderer and that both Quintana and Vargas had secrets.

The trial resumes 9:15 a.m. Monday.

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