Two convicted of murder in 2018 slaying

Crime Watch

Manpreet Sidhu and Adam Barness, file image.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Two men have been convicted of murder in the death of a man whose body was in the front seat of an SUV pulled over by the California Highway Patrol in 2018.

Adam Barness, 33, and Manpreet Sidhu, 42, were found guilty Friday of first-degree murder and conspiracy.

On Jan. 16, 2018, a CHP officer pulled over a speeding GMC Yukon near Highway 65 and James Road.

Barness and Sidhu were inside, as was the body of 49-year-old Evmir Miraflores Evangelista. There was “substantial trauma” to Miraflores’ neck, and an autopsy confirmed he had been strangled, prosecutors said.

A search of the vehicle turned up gloves, metal wire, a large shovel and a full can of gas, according to prosecutors. Both Barness and Sidhu claimed to know nothing about Evangelista’s death, but the investigation revealed Barness was the beneficiary of the slain man’s life insurance policy, prosecutors said.

Both defendants face 25 years to life in prison at a sentencing hearing scheduled Oct. 27.

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