Man pulled over on Highway 65 with dead body sentenced for stolen vehicle possession

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One of the men in a stolen car pulled over on Highway 65 in with a dead body inside has been sentenced for possession of that stolen car.

A judge sentenced 24-year-old Ben Barness to 100 days in jail and three years probation for possession of a stolen vehicle. Barness pleaded no contest to the stolen vehicle charge last month.

Barness and another passenger were pulled over by a CHP officer on Jan. 16 for speeding on Highway 65 just north of Merle Haggard Road. The CHP officer noticed a man in the passenger’s seat appeared injured but eventually determined the man was dead.

The vehicle was reported stolen out of Los Angeles. The dead man was later identified as 49-year-old Evmir Evangelista.

Barness has not been charged in Evangelista’s death and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating.

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