Man convicted of murder in Wasco shooting

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WASCO, Calif. (KGET) — A Kern County jury on Friday convicted a man of murder in the shooting death of a man in Wasco last year.

Kelly Stafford, 26, was also found guilty of multiple firearm-related offenses, assault on a person with force likely to result in great bodily injury, battery on a person and resisting a peace officer, court records say. He faces a life term in prison.

Stafford and a 17-year-old were arrested in the June 8, 2020, shooting of Jesse Abarca near the intersection of Rose Street and Griffith Avenue. Abarca, 32, was flown to a local hospital, where he later died.

Deputies arrested Stafford June 23, 2020, in the 1700 block of Highway 46, according to the sheriff’s office.

Sentencing is scheduled June 30.

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