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Thread: Death Penalty Trial: Jury Selection Underway for Nicholas Quintana in 2017 CA Murder of Marcos Vargas

  1. #1
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Death Penalty Trial: Jury Selection Underway for Nicholas Quintana in 2017 CA Murder of Marcos Vargas


    Marcos Vargas





    May 18, 2018

    Reports: Pathologist says wounds inflicted on Bakersfield attorney indicate an attempt to decapitate

    By Jason Kowtowski
    Bakersfield.com

    Marcos Vargas likely knew his time was short.

    The 26-year-old attorney scrambled from one apartment to the next early Nov. 29, frantically knocking on doors and ringing doorbells as he tried to get help, according to court documents. As he rushed, blood spilled from stab wounds he apparently attempted to stanch by holding a towel around his neck.

    By the time police arrived, it was too late. Officers found Vargas' nude body lying in the northeast area of the apartment complex where he lived in the 600 block of Hosking Avenue, according to court documents released Friday.

    During Vargas' autopsy, a pathologist located several deep cuts around his neck. He characterized them as three distinct attempts to decapitate the attorney, the documents say.

    On May 3, roughly five months after Vargas' grisly killing, a 19-year-old Bakersfield man was charged in his death.

    Nicholas Quintana, 19, met Vargas on a dating app and went to his apartment. After stabbing Vargas, Quintana stole items including a cell phone, Bakersfield police detectives allege in court documents.

    The phone was later found in a storm drain in Long Beach, the documents say. Cell tower data shows Quintana's phone was in the area of the apartment complex at the time of the killing then traveled to Long Beach afterward to the area where Vargas' phone was located.

    Additionally, surveillance video from the night of Vargas' death shows a vehicle similar to Quintana's arriving at the apartment complex around midnight and leaving after the killing occurred, the documents say.

    Quintana has pleaded not guilty and is next due in court Thursday.

    He told investigators he didn't know Vargas and has never been to his apartment complex. He said he has a girlfriend in Long Beach.

    The girlfriend said Quintana comes and goes frequently and she couldn't remember if he was at her apartment Nov. 29, the documents say.

    The attack apparently began in the west bedroom, police say in the documents, as officers found signs of a struggle including knocked over furniture and blood spatter and smearing on the walls, floor, ceiling and furniture.

    A man who answered in response to Vargas' knocking told police the attorney was nude, bleeding profusely and in distress, and he ran to get something to cover him up. When he returned with a blanket, he found Vargas lying in the grass, apparently dead.

    A licensed attorney in Mexico, Vargas came to Kern County after passing the bar exam in the United States and went to work for Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance in June 2016.

    Friends and coworkers praised Vargas' dedication and work ethic. Their names are redacted from the court documents.

    One woman described him as "a very nice and outgoing person who always wanted to help people," and she didn't know of anyone who would want to harm him, according to the documents. She said he only went out to business social events, and she never saw him drink excessively.

    Similar comments were made by a number of other coworkers. Most also said they knew little of Vargas' personal life.

    But a person who had engaged in sex acts with Vargas told investigators the attorney didn't want his friends or family to know he was gay, according to the documents.

    He said Vargas had previously been the victim of a robbery by someone else he met online.

    The person told investigators "meeting strangers online is risky because you never know who you are going to meet... ."

    https://www.bakersfield.com/news/rep...96d3cbd61.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  2. #2
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Death Penalty case in murder of attorney will go forward to jury trial

    By Olivia LaVoice
    KGET News

    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A judge has found there is enough evidence against the young man accused of torturing an up-and-coming Bakersfield attorney to death in order to move forward with a jury trial.

    This case stands out for so many reasons. For one-the brutality is like nothing we've ever seen. The victim by all accounts was a compassionate and brilliant young attorney. And the suspect, barely an adult and somewhat small in stature, had a seemingly ordinary life. The horrific murder has revealed secrets of both the victim and the suspect.

    We warn you-some of the details of the murder may be disturbing to some viewers. One by one, Bakersfield Police Officers and crime scene techs described a bloody crime scene that seems too graphic even for horror films.

    Blood covered six different walkways at the Golden Valley Luxury Apartment complex. Bloody footprints and hand prints showed a trial to at least six different apartments where the victim pounded on the door-frantic for help before ultimately dying.

    When a crime scene tech was asked to describe the inside of victim Marcos Vargas's apartment, she replied "there's just blood everywhere." The crime scene photos shown in court depict the victim so covered in blood it's nearly impossible to make out any wounds. Autopsy photos painted a sickening picture of a suspect who tried to inflict so much pain and damage to the victim, frankly, it's difficult to describe.

    In addition to near decapitation, the suspect seemed to carve out a large piece of the 26-year-old's face. The most gut-wrenching part of all is the fact that he was alive during the savagery inflicted on him. The nuts and bolts of the evidence against the baby-faced, petite suspect are as followed: Less than 24 hours before Vargas was murdered, police allege the men met each other on the dating app "Meet Me", where the victim made it clear he was looking for sex.

    Though the user police say is Quintana doesn't say much of anything sexual in response, and is initially a bit reluctant, he eventually agrees to come over. Both men, believed to be straight by those closest to them, allegedly met up just after midnight.

    Inside Vargas's apartment, prosecutor Eric Smith told the judge Vargas was anticipating a sexual encounter where as Q​​​​​​​uintana had something else in mind.

    As the victim undressed and laid down on the bed, Smith theorized the 19-year-old took out a large knife and began hacking away at the unsuspecting attorney. An un-used condom was found on the floor.

    Vargas's iphone was later recovered in long beach, 600 feet from Quintana's longtime girlfriend's home.

    Crime scene techs also said Quintana's DNA was found on a beer can inside Vargas's apartment.

    We didn't hear much from the defense today, as is typical at preliminary hearings, but they did establish that much of the DNA found at the scene did not match Quintana. The number one question everyone's been asking with this case is what is the motive? It seems we may never know for sure. If convicted, the 19-year-old faces the death penalty.

    The victim, Marcos Vargas was an active member of the legal community working with Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance. He was also involved with the Immigration-Justice Collaboration and the young lawyers section of the Kern County Bar.

    https://www.kget.com/news/local-news...ial/1458180597
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  3. #3
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    Trial date confirmed for man charged in grisly slaying of Bakersfield attorney

    By Jason Kotowski
    KGET News

    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) A case involving the brutal killing of a local attorney who met his alleged killer through an online dating app has been confirmed for trial later this month.

    On Friday, attorneys in the case of Nicholas Quintana said they are ready and a judge scheduled a trial date of Jan. 25. Its expected a courtroom will be assigned on that date, after which motions will be heard and a jury selected.

    Quintana, 22, is accused of killing Marco Vargas, 26, by repeatedly stabbing him at Golden Valley Luxury Apartments in southeast Bakersfield. Vargas had invited Quintana to his apartment after connecting with him on the MeetMe app, court documents said.

    Vargas rushed from his apartment early Nov. 29, 2017, a towel held to his neck as he tried to stop blood pouring from his cuts and pounded on neighbors doors for help, according to the filings. He died soon afterward.

    A pathologist who examined Vargas body said deep cuts around his neck indicated three separate attempts to decapitate him, the documents said.

    Quintana stole items from the apartment, including a cellphone, and fled from Bakersfield to Long Beach, detectives said in the documents. The stolen phone was later found in a storm drain in Long Beach.

    Cell tower records showed Quintanas phone in the area of the apartment complex at the time of the killing, then traveling to where the stolen phone was discarded in Long Beach, the filings said. Additionally, surveillance footage from the complex captured a vehicle similar to Quintanas arriving around midnight just before investigators say the killing occurred and leaving a short time later.

    Quintana has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, robbery and manufacturing an assault weapon.

    Vargas, a licensed attorney in Mexico, came to Kern County after passing the bar exam in the United States and worked for Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance.

    A lawsuit filed by Vargas mother against The Meet Group, the operators of the MeetMe app, alleges it failed to properly screen users, making violent, dangerous acts against other users more likely. The next hearing in the suit is scheduled Dec. 17.

    https://www.kget.com/news/crime-watc...ield-attorney/
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  4. #4
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Jury selection begins in trial of man accused of killing local attorney

    KGET News

    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Jury selection is underway in the trial of a man accused of killing a local attorney.


    Nicholas Quintana, 22, is accused in the killing of Marco Vargas after meeting through an online dating app and allegedly stabbing him to death. The killing happened at the Golden Valley Luxury Apartments in South Bakersfield in November 2017.

    Quintana pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, robbery, and manufacturing an assault weapon.

    The jury is expected to be selected by the end of the week.

    https://www.kget.com/news/crime-watc...ocal-attorney/
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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