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Man to be tried on first-degree murder charges in killings of mother, stepfather

Derek Connell, accused of killing his mother and stepfather, hides his face as he stands next to Deputy Public Defender Paul Cadman in court in this file photo.

A Bakersfield man accused of gunning down his mother and stepfather has been ordered to stand trial on two counts of first-degree murder and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Kern County Superior Court Judge Thomas C. Clark ruled there is enough evidence to support the charges against 29-year-old Derek Connell following a preliminary hearing that began Tuesday and stretched into Wednesday afternoon. 

Prosecutors say Connell shot Christopher Tare Higginbotham and Kim Higginbotham, both 48, on April 30. Connell at first claimed he found the couple dead in

In this file photo, Sasha Washington and her baby, Azalea Lopez, cool off on a hot afternoon in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park swimming pool.

Parks programs attendance down in June

Nearly 15 percent fewer people used programs put on by Bakersfield’s city parks department last month than in June 2015, a number likely attributable to fewer days open for pools, an official said — but also to a 42 percent drop in athletics attendance. Cuts in services enacted near the end

In this file photo, Dolores Huerta speaks out in support of anti-discrimination policies approved by the Kern High School District.

Dolores Huerta to address Democratic convention Thursday

Bakersfield’s Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers union, will speak on the final night of the Democratic National Convention, it was announced Wednesday. Huerta, a supporter of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton since her first presidential campaign in 2008, is

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