Trial begins in 2010 Bakersfield triple homicide

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A trial began Friday in the shooting deaths of three people in 2010, ending years of postponements during which attorneys came and went and the accused killer spent time in a state hospital.

Tokunbo Okuwoga is charged with three counts of murder, among other offenses, in the slayings of Felipe Bravo Jr., 22, Bravo’s father, Felipe Bravo Sr., 43, and the younger man’s girlfriend, Daina Caraveo, 22.

Okuwoga, 32, faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted. He sat hunched forward in the courtroom, rocking back and forth throughout the proceedings.

It’s alleged Okuwoga shot Bravo Jr. to prevent him from testifying against him in connection with an attempted robbery they committed the year before. A third accomplice in the attempted robbery was in the house in the 2000 block of Bradley Avenue when the shooting occurred but ran and hid in a closet, according to court filings.

That man, Anh Vu Bui, will testify Okuwoga was angry because he believed Bui had been talking with law enforcement, prosecutor Eric Smith said in his opening statement. Smith said the killings are directly tied to the 2009 attempted robbery because Okuwoga wanted to eliminate anyone who could place him at the earlier crime.

Smith said Bravo Jr. and Caraveo were executed the night of Sept. 22, 2010, both shot by the ear. Bravo Sr. also received a gunshot wound to the head.

Caraveo’s children, 2 and 5, were in the house at the time. They were unharmed, lying under blankets in the room where the bodies of Caraveo and Bravo Jr. were found, court filings said. Bravo Sr. was alive when police found him in another room but died a short time later.

Okuwoga immediately fled to Fresno after the killings and was arrested the next day at an Amtrak station, Smith said.

Gary Turnbull, Okuwoga’s attorney, reserved his opening statement until after the prosecution has finished presenting its case.

Okuwoga was previously represented by attorneys Michael C. Lukehart and Fred Gagliardini. They have since retired.

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