BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Thursday, a jury found Bobby Gene Sherrell Jr. guilty of second-degree murder for the 2018 shooting of David Steelman in Taft, according to a news release from the District Attorney’s office.
In the early morning hours of June 13, 2018, Kern County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a report of a man lying in the street on Crystal Street near Naylor Avenue in Taft. When deputies arrived they said they found David Steelman, 31, unresponsive and suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. Medical personnel efforts to save his life were unsuccessful and Steelman died at the scene, according to the office.
Evidence presented at the trial indicated that Steelman saw Sherrell’s vehicle and tried to avoid him by walking towards an alley near Crystal Street. He was unarmed, according to officials.
Officials said Sherrell continued to pursue Steelman through the alley. Steelman then hit Sherrell’s closed driver’s side window as Sherrell was approaching, which authorities said prompted Sherrell to pull out a gun and shoot at Steelman, hitting him in the chest and killing him.
The D.A’s office said the shooting was motivated by a prior disagreement between the two men weeks earlier.
Sentencing has been set for Jan. 6, 2023. Sherrell faces up to 40 years to life in prison for Steelman’s murder.