Bakersfield man acquitted of murder in shooting at Heritage Park

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Kern County jury acquitted a 21-year-old man of murder, attempted murder and other charges in connection with a shooting at Heritage Park.

Of the five charges filed against Guillermo Soto, the jury on Wednesday found him guilty only of possession of a firearm by a felon. He faces a maximum of three years in prison at his June 19 sentencing.

Prosecutor Cole McKnight said he was not able to speak to jurors afterward but believes they found Soto acted in self-defense.

“I’m disappointed with the verdict but can understand how the jury reached it,” he said.

Soto’s attorney, Tony Lidgett, could not immediately be reached for comment. 

On the morning of Dec. 9, 2017, two girls agreed to meet at Heritage Park to settle their differences.

One girl brought her sister and at least two others to the east Bakersfield park. The other brought Soto, her longtime boyfriend. 

A fight broke out and Soto opened fire, according to court documents. Christopher Guadron, 27, died from a gunshot wound to the chest. The girl with issues with Soto’s girlfriend was also shot, her injuries described as minor.

Arrested that night, Soto told investigators he was “jumped” after trying to separate the two girls. He said one of the other males pulled a gun and began firing, missing him but hitting Guadron and the girl. 

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