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KGET: Local News

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A man charged with murder surprised the courtroom with an outburst Friday, upon learning the jury convicted him for a murder and a shooting.

    25-year-old Spencer Rogers lost his cool as the clerk read the guilty verdict of first degree murder.

    The audience was escorted out of the courtroom for their safety.

    Rogers was also found guilty of twelve other charges.

    Rogers is one of two men accused of killing 23-year-old Kevin McMahan of Bakersfield in 2013 during a drive-by shooting on South Real Road near Highway 58.

    He was also convicted in a shootings of two people, in July of that same year.

    "It's always nice when the jury looks through all the correct evidence and comes to the right verdict," said David McKillop, Deputy District Attorney.

    "He's an extremely emotional person, yes. It's emotional for everybody," said Rogers' attorney, David Torres.

    Rogers faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. And, Friday's outburst could bring extra charges against him.

    Rogers is due back in court July 8.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The family of Bakersfield Police Officer David Nelson say he loved his job and they're comforted knowing he died doing what he loved.

    Nelson's girlfriend, Rachael Osgood, says they were a couple for three years and when she spoke with him early Friday morning,  she never thought it would be the last time.

    "Actually 12:30 last night he had called me. He had had some down-time, and so he pulled over and said 'Hi' and that he loved me and wished me good night and everything," said Osgood.

    The last time the couple was together was last Saturday. Osgood lives in Burbank and said living two hours apart, she always missed Nelson.

    So after the phone call, she says she sent him a text message at 1:30 a.m., an hour before the accident.

    "I texted him, 'Nights like this make me wish we lived together.' And, he said, "Me too. It would be so nice to come home to you."

    Coming home to him is something she thought she'd eventually do every day.

    Osgood says the two talked about marriage, but now her boyfriend is gone.

    "Even at first I tried to convince myself that it was a dream. It's the most heartbreaking thing I've ever heard. I'm still in shock I guess," she said.

    In shock, but not surprised Officer Nelson died doing what he loved.

    "He was the most amazing man I ever met," said Osgood. "He was always thinking about others. Even before he became a cop he cared about others so much. He was always doing his best to make everyone happy."

    She says he knew being a cop was dangerous, but it was his calling.

    "To him, he would put his life on the line for people, for anybody, and that's what, that's the type of man that he was. So he didn't care if it meant risking his life to save another. He would do it."

    Officer Nelson is from Burbank and studied at Occidental College.

    He's survived by his parents and two brothers.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Shards of glass, an oil spill, a cracked wall and damaged pole mark the spot where 26-year-old Bakersfield Police Officer David Nelson crashed his patrol car Friday morning. The intersection of Panorama Drive and Mount Vernon Avenue, now a memorial with flowers, candles and a flag.

    Nelson's girlfriend, Rachael Osgood, remembers her boyfriend David as a man who loved his job, his family and his friends.

    "To him he would put his life on the line for people, for anybody, and that's what that's the type of man that he was, even if it meant him having to lay down his life to save another, he would do it," said Osgood.

    The Nelson family released the following statement: 

    "Bakersfield Police Officer David Nelson, 26, was killed in the Line of Duty early yesterday morning. Our family is deeply saddened by this loss and words cannot begin to express the grief his passing has placed on all of our hearts. We are deeply moved and thank everyone for the outpouring of support, messages, and love. We thank everyone who has reached out to all of us and encourage any and all to continue to do so. Bakersfield Police Department has set up a phone line at (661) 852-7021 for anyone wishing to share their feelings, thoughts, and prayers. Please continue to remember and honor Officer Nelson and all those men and women in uniform who put their lives on the line each day protecting the communities that they love. We are all so proud of David and will forever respect and distinguish him as an individual that gave the ultimate sacrifice in trying to make this world a better place for all. Service information is below. Please share as needed. All are welcome.

    Both the viewing and funeral services will be held at Forest Lawn Glendale - 1712 South Glendale Avenue, Glendale, CA 91205

    Viewing and Vigil: Tuesday, June 30th from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. at the Church of the Recessional.

    Funeral Service: Wednesday, July 1 at 1:30 p.m. at the Church of the Recessional.

    There will also be a community memorial service in Bakersfield held in David's honor next week. Date/Time and Specific Location are currently still TBD but we will continue to update everyone as we navigate through this terrible and tragic loss.

    This is the statement the family intends to make and greatly appreciate having the space we need to allow our family to grieve and heal in private.

    We love you David, our son, brother, friend, and hero.

    Rest in peace."

    The Bakersfield Police Department established a phone line for anyone wishing to share their feelings, thoughts, and prayers. It is being staffed around the clock, 24-hours a day, until sometime next week 661-852-7021.


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    Fox Summer Movie Series event info, happening at the Fox Theater in downtown Bakersfield.

    Date: Movie:     Sponsor:
    Saturday, June 27, 2015 Paddington PG&E
    Saturday, July 11, 2015  Spongebob Squarepants Chevron
    Saturday, July 18, 2015     The Book of Life City of Bakersfield Solid Waste Department
    Saturday, July 25, 2015 The Sandlot City of Bakersfield Fire Department

    The last movie, The Sandlot, on July 25th will kick off with a block party beginning at 10:00 am adjacent to the Fox Theater.  


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Nearly two days later, the community is still trying to come to terms with  the tragic death of Bakersfield police officer David Nelson, killed in the line of duty Friday morning in a pursuit and crash in northeast Bakersfield.

    Officer Nelson's family has released details of a viewing, a vigil and a funeral planned next week in Burbank for their fallen loved one.
         
    The viewing and vigil will be Tuesday, June 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Church of the Recessional in Glendale.
         
    Then, officer Nelson's funeral will be held there Wednesday, July 1 at 1:30 p.m.
         
    His family said a community memorial service is still being planned in Bakersfield.

    According to BPD, there are still no arrests in the search for the driver of a silver Hyundai, who officer Nelson was pursuing when he crashed at Panorama Drive and Mount Vernon Avenue.
         
    The department has set up a tip line if you know anything. Call 852-7800 to report anything that could help solve this case..
         
    Also, the secret witness program is offering a reward of up to $5,000, with an additional $5,000 from a private donation for information leading to the arrest and filing of a complaint against the driver.

    You can also remain anonymous by calling 322-4040.
    Officer Nelson's older brother, Erik, sent 17 News photos of his late brother and a response from his family.

    In that statement, he talked about how he and his family are overwhelmed with emotion ... and they aren't ready to speak to media. 

    "Our family is deeply saddened by this loss and words cannot begin to express the grief his passing has placed on all of our hearts.  We are deeply moved and thank everyone for the outpouring of support, messages, and love. We thank everyone who has reached out to all of us and encourage any and all to continue to do so. We are all so proud of David and will forever respect and distinguish him as an individual that gave the ultimate sacrifice in trying to make this world a better place for all. we love you David, our son, brother, friend, and hero. rest in peace." - Erik Nelson.

    Beside the tip line for information in their investigation, BPD has established a phone line for anyone wishing to share their feelings, thoughts, and prayers. You can share your condolences by calling 852-7021.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA -  A series of forums are being held across California, detailing President Obama's executive action on immigration reform.  

    The statewide forums are also intended to warn consumers about potential scams and other fraud, targeted at immigrant communities.
         
    Topics include eligibility for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program.

    Organizers Saturday were helping families prepare for acceptance in those programs, which helps qualified undocumented immigrants stay in the country and protected from deportation.

    Click HERE to learn more.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Keeping cool in the heat is something everyone is looking to do, even our furry, four-legged friends.

    One local teen looking to become an eagle scout wanted a way to give back to the community while earning his rank.
         
    Jeff Aceves decided to build a shade roof for the dog play area at the Kern County Animal Services Shelter and organized a troop of volunteers for the project.
          
    Aceves said he wanted to provide a comfortable place the dogs could play in while avoiding the summer heat.

    Organizers with the shelter said they're thankful for contributions by people in the community like Aceves because it makes all the difference when providing care for the animals.

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    An arrest was made Saturday night in connection to the death of a Bakersfield police officer.

    On Saturday morning, the Bakersfield Police Department received information by a caller into the tip line that the caller had seen a person driving a silver Hyundai with paper license plates frequenting a home in the 2600 block of Sunny Lane, officials said.

    Officers went to the home about 11:30 p.m. Saturday where they contacted Julian Hernandez, 32, of Bakersfield. The suspect vehicle was recovered at the home, officials said.

    The investigation revealed that Hernandez was the driver of the suspect vehicle, officials said. Police also said a shotgun recovered at the scene of the crash had been thrown out of the vehicle by Hernandez during the pursuit with Officer David Nelson Friday morning.

    Officer Nelson, 26, lost his life in the line of duty after he crashed chasing Hernandez, police said.

    Hernandez was arrested at the Bakersfield Police Department for Evading an Officer in a Vehicle Causing Injury or Death, Hit and Run Causing Injury or Death, Obstructing Arrest with Violence, Felon in Possession of a Firearm and additional firearms related charges. Court records show Hernandez has prior convictions for domestic violence and other felony charges. He pleaded no contest in November 2014 for obstructing a peace officer, court records showed.

    His bail is set at $610,000

    The Bakersfield Police Department said they would like to thank the anonymous caller who provided the information that led to the arrest of Hernandez. They said they would also again like to thank the public for their outpouring of support and condolences to Officer Nelson's family and the Bakersfield Police Department.

    Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Detective Jim Moore at (661) 326-3540, the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111, or the Secret Witness line at (661) 322-4040.

    The tip line (661) 852-7800 and the condolence line (661) 852-7021 will remain operational until further notice.

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    (NBC NEWS) Convicted murderer and escaped inmate David Sweat was shot near the Canadian border Sunday, multiple New York State officials with knowledge of the investigation and manhunt told NBC News.

    Senior officials said Sweat was wounded but is alive and was taken into custody just south of Canadian border.

    The news comes more than three weeks after Sweat broke free from Clinton Correctional Facility, and two days after his partner was killed by law enforcement.

    Richard Matt, 49, the man who escaped with Sweat, 35, on June 6, was shot dead in Malone, which is about 40 miles away from the prison and 20 miles away from the Canadian border. 

    Click for more.


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    Bakersfield police are notifying the public that the tip line number, (661) 852-7800, established for the investigation into the death of officer David Nelson, is no longer being staffed.
    Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Detective Jim Moore at (661) 326-3540, the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111, or the Secret Witness line at (661) 322-4040. 
    The condolence line (661) 852-7021 will remain operational until further notice.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Bakersfield Police arrested 32-year-old Julien Hernandez for his suspected involvement in the death of BPD officer, David Nelson. Hernandez is accused of evading an officer in a vehicle causing injury or death, hit and run causing injury or death, obstructing arrest with violence, being a felon in possession of a firearm and additional firearms related charges.

    Hernandez was arrested at Bakersfield Police headquarters Saturday night at 11:30 p.m.

    Police found Hernandez after receiving an anonymous phone call regarding Hernandez whereabouts. Police detained him at an apartment on Sunny Lane in East Bakersfield and also recovered the vehicle he's accused of driving in the high-speed chase early Friday morning where officer Nelson was killed.

    Residents of the Sunny Lane apartment did not want to comment on Julian Hernandez who was detained in their home.

    Saray Hernandez lives next door to the apartment where he was detained and says she has seen Hernandez several times. "I really don't know them personally I just know that they were the lady next doors friends, that's it," said Saray Hernandez.

    Julian Hernandez has an extensive criminal record, with at least two felony convictions, dating back to 2001, with 13 different cases against him including resisting and evading police and spousal abuse.

    Sunday morning Hernandez denied our request Sunday for a jailhouse interview.

    Bakersfield Police want to thank the anonymous caller who gave the information leading to the arrest. Anyone with additional information is urged to call BPD 327-7111. The tip line for this case has been shut down.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Kern County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of a man found unresponsive in the Kern River.

    The coroner's office identified the man as 63-year-old Vanik Vartanians, of Burbank.
         
    According to the coroner's report, witnesses saw him go into the Kern River on Saturday at Borel Road and Highway 178.
         
    He was pulled under water by a strong current and was found unresponsive just before 2 p.m. Saturday, officials said. He died at the scene. 

    Since 1968, 272 people have now died in the Kern River.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A drag racer is dead after a crash at Famoso Raceway Saturday night.

    Roger Garten, 69, of Fallbrook died following a crash at the Saturday Night Nitro event.

    Garten's War Horse Funny Car crossed over into the lane of the Nitro Nick Car, driven by Matt Bynum.
         
    The two cars collided before bouncing off the wall and coming to a stop past the finish line.
         
    Bynum was uninjured.
         
    Officials have not yet released details of the injuries Garten sustained in the accident.
         
    Garten's nostalgia Funny Car runs on Nitromethane and is capable of traveling a quarter mile in under six seconds, at speeds over 230 miles per hour.
         
    The longtime racer started in the 70s, driving the War Horse Mustang.
         
    After two decades away from the track, Garten strapped back into a car again in the mid 90s and he's been at it ever since.

    Garten is survived by his wife Carlene and an extended family.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The name of a teenager who died after being struck by a semi truck in central Bakersfield has been released.
       
    The coroner's office identified him as 17-year-old Blas Nahum Sandoval.
         
    It happened Wednesday afternoon at California and Union Avenues.
         
    Police say the teen was riding his skateboard and entered the crosswalk while a semi was turning right.
         
    The teen reportedly hit the back wheels of the truck and suffered major injuries.
         
    He was taken to Kern Medical Center where he died from his injuries.
         
    BPD is investigating the incident.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A suspect involved in the pursuit and crash that cost a Bakersfield police officer his life early this past Friday morning in northeast Bakersfield has been arrested.
         
    A tip to police Saturday morning proved to be the big break officials were looking for.

    Someone spotted the unlicensed silver Hyundai about a mile and a half south of Panorama Drive and Mount Vernon Avenue where officer David Nelson crashed.
         
    A caller told police they spotted that vehicle frequenting a residence in the 2600 block of Sunny Lane.

    The suspect has been identified as 32-year-old Julian Hernandez. He also has an extensive criminal record.

    Hernandez was arrested at Bakersfield police headquarters around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday.

    Residents of the Sunny Lane apartment complex did not want to comment on Hernandez, who was there Saturday night. 

    Neighbors said they have seen Hernandez several times in the area. 

    After Bakersfield police received an anonymous phone call regarding Hernandez's whereabouts, they were able to find Hernandez and the suspect vehicle, a silver Hyundai he's accused of driving. 

    Hernandez has an extensive criminal record, with at least two felony convictions, dating back to 2001, with 13 different cases against him including resisting and evading police and spousal abuse. 
         
    Now, Hernandez is accused of evading an officer in a vehicle causing injury or death, hit and run causing injury or death, obstructing arrest with violence, being a felon in possession of a firearm and additional fire arms related charges. 

    A vigil and viewing for officer Nelson will be held in Glendale Tuesday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Church of the Recessional in Glendale.
         
    On Sunday, Bakersfield police revealed a new location for his funeral.
         
    It will now be at Forest Lawn Cemetery, that's 6300 Forest Lawn Drive in Los Angeles, Wednesday, July 1 at 1:30 p.m.
         
    BPD is also announcing an additional memorial service being planned for officer Nelson in Bakersfield.

    The memorial service will be during the week of July 6, with details to come later of the location, time and exact date.

    Bakersfield police are also extending their thanks to the anonymous caller who gave the information leading to the arrest. 
         
    Anyone with additional information is urged to call BPD at 327-7111. 

    The tip line for this case has been shut down.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- Sheriff's officials say they are still looking for a man who they believe drowned in Lake Isabella.

    Officials say a 38-year-old man was reported missing around 6 p.m. after he didn't return from swimming near the auxiliary dam campground at the south end of the lake Saturday.

    Officials say wittnesses saw the man struggling to get back to shore, but lost sight of him.

    Several agencies are involved in the search.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- A man died Saturday in the Kern River, according to the Coroner's Office.

    The coroner's office identified the man as Vanik Vartanians, 63, of Burbank.

    According to the coroner's report witnesses saw him go into the Kern River Saturday at Borel Road and Highway 178.

    Officials say he was pulled under water by a strong current and was found unresponsive.

    They say he died at the scene.

    According to the Kern County Sheriff's Office, 272 people have now died in the Kern River since 1968.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- There have been a lot of people asking how they can donate money in memory of fallen Officer David Nelson, according to Bakersfield Police.

    Nelson was killed when he crashed his patrol car during a high speed chase last week.

    According to Bakersfield Police, an account has been established at the Bakersfield City Employee Federal Credit Union (BCEFCU), 2817 16th St, Bakersfield, CA 93301.

    Donations can be made in the name of Officer David Nelson at that location or to the Bakersfield Police Officers Association, Officer Assistance Fund at the BCEFCU, or via check or Paypal at www.bpoa.us.

    The funds from this account will be forwarded a memorial scholarship fund the family is establishing in Officer Nelson’s name, according to Bakersfield Police.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- At a news conference Monday, Bakersfield Police announced plans for a local Memorial for fallen Officer David Nelson.

    Nelson was killed when he crashed his patrol car during a high speed chase last week.

    According to police, the memorial will be held at Rabobank Theater on Tuesday July 7 at 3p.m.

    The memorial will be open to the public.

    Nelson will be buried in a private ceremony in Burbank July 1. 

    If you would like to see a slide show of the Officer Nelson story, click here.

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    (NBC News) The Supreme Court on Monday upheld a controversial lethal injection drug linked to several botched executions.

    By a vote of 5-4, the justices ruled that Oklahoma and other states can continue to execute death row inmates with a three drug combination that includes the sedative Midazolam without violating the Eighth Amendment on cruel and unusual punishment.

    Midazolam, also used in executions in Arizona and Ohio, raised concerns that it failed to induce a deep coma-like sleep leading to searing pain caused by follow-up injections.

    Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the lawyers who brought the case failed to identify an alternative method of execution with a lower risk of pain.

    In dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the decision effectively means it, "would not matter whether the state intended to use Midazolam, or instead to have petitioners drawn and quartered, slowly tortured to death or actually burned at the stake."

    Read more: http://nbcnews.to/1dt2SzZ

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