Trial pushed back to August for accused child killer Kaleb Kessinger

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The trial for Kaleb Kessinger, charged with murder and other crimes in the death of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son, was postponed for three months Friday — the one-year anniversary on which authorities found the child’s body. 

Kessinger’s trial had been set for May 6, but defense attorney David A. Torres filed a motion to push back the date. He’s now scheduled for trial Aug. 12.

In court Friday, Kessinger, 31, held up a book to cover his face from the media. Clothed in orange jail garb, he was wearing glasses and has grown a beard. 

Kessinger and his former girlfriend, Ayled Chavez, were arrested in April of last year on suspicion of killing Ramon Angel Reyes-Chavez then dumping his body in the Kern River Canyon. They later returned to bury the body, according to court documents.

Chavez, 20, led police to where the body was buried the morning of April 26, 2018. 

She told police she left Ramon in the care of Kessinger while she went out to dinner with a friend. Kessinger is not the boy’s father.

When she returned, she noticed Ramon’s head and face were injured, she told police in court documents. The boy died that night, she said, and they left his body in a car until the next morning when they drove to the Kern River Canyon. 

Kessinger fled from police on April 25 of last year and eluded authorities for two days before they tracked him to a motel on Oak Street and arrested him. He’s been in custody since.

Chavez has pleaded no contest to willful cruelty to a child in exchange for the dismissal of charges of murder and assault on a child under 8 resulting in death. She’s serving a two-year prison term. 

Additionally, Kessinger faces charges from a separate incident in which he’s alleged to have stolen $1,200 from his grandfather and stashed guns in his room for the benefit of the West Side Crips gang. The trial date on those charges is the same for the charges connected to the killing of the boy. 

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