Three of four defendants acquitted of murder in Fox Theater stabbing

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Three of four men charged in a deadly stabbing that happened outside a concert at the Fox Theater were acquitted Tuesday of murder.

The remaining defendant, Joel Esteban Rodriguez, was found guilty of second-degree murder and assault resulting in great bodily injury, according to court records. The 29-year-old faces 15 years to life for the murder conviction.

Efrain Elias Ugues, 35, and Heraclio Ugues, 36 at the time of his arrest, were each acquitted of murder and assault charges, and Jesse Carlos Reyes, 36, was acquitted of murder and found guilty of assault resulting in great bodily injury, according to the records. Reyes and Rodriguez are scheduled for sentencing Feb. 17.

The four were arrested in the killing of Kasey Villegas, 19, following a concert by rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at the Fox Theater on Feb. 18, 2018. Villegas was stabbed multiple times.

Villegas, who attended the concert with his pregnant girlfriend and other family, argued with the other men, and they shouted their gang affiliations, according to court documents. Security removed the two groups from the venue, and they argued again outside before separating.

But Villegas and his girlfriend encountered the men once more downtown and were chased, according to the documents. The defendants attacked him, and Villegas collapsed with stab wounds, investigators said in the filings.

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