Preliminary hearing postponed for man charged in deadly stabbing near Foothill High

Crime Watch

Jason Cruz pleaded not guilty to murder Feb. 6 in connection with a stabbing near Foothill High School.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The preliminary hearing for a 23-year-old man charged in the fatal stabbing of a teenager near Foothill High School has been pushed back a month.

The hearing, where a judge will determine if there is enough evidence to order Jason Cruz to stand trial on a charge of first-degree murder, was postponed Wednesday to April 30, court records show.

Cruz and two juveniles were arrested in January in the stabbing death of 17-year-old Jose Flores.

According to court documents, Cruz admitted stabbing Flores during a melee that began after a confrontation at a bus stop near the school Jan. 21 as students were leaving for the day.

Cruz told deputies he received a text message from an unknown number before the fight saying a student was going to get “jumped” that day. Cruz said that the student, believed to be a relative, had previously been bullied at school. 

After Cruz arrived at a bus stop near the school, the teen identified a group of students who were allegedly bullying him, the documents say. Cruz told deputies he confronted the students in an attempt to protect the teen and convince them to leave the teen alone.

One of the teens came forward and began punching him, Cruz said in the documents. At that point, he said, he pulled out a folding knife and stabbed the teen, later identified as Flores, at least three times.

Other students then attacked Cruz and he fell to the ground, Cruz said. The fight broke up after several cars began honking. Cruz got up and noticed his shoulder bleeding from an apparent stab wound. He said he didn’t know who stabbed him.

“I’m sorry for what I did. I know it wasn’t right,” the documents say Cruz told deputies. “Um, I take full responsibility and um, I’m sorry.”

The status of the two juveniles that were arrested is unclear as the results of juvenile court hearings aren’t made public online.

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