A jury convicted a defendant Friday of murder and arson in connection with the killing of a Bakersfield man in October 2010.
Joseph Burciaga, 32, faces a potential sentence of 25 years to life in prison at his May 16 sentencing, according to a Kern County District Attorney's office news release.
On Oct. 15, 2010, victim Frank Adams went to the 8000 block of Big Bear Street to check on a friend while his wife and child waited in the car, prosecutors said. His wife called police when Adams didn't come out.
Bakersfield police searched the house but couldn't find Adams, prosecutors said. Before police arrived, Burciaga had killed Adams and placed his body in a pool storage box in the backyard.
Burciaga set fire to the house three days later to destroy evidence of the murder, according to prosecutors. He then arranged to have Adams' body dumped in a sump near Copus Road southwest of Bakersfield.
Prosecutors said Adams' body was found eight days later, and it was determined he died from a gunshot wound to the chest. Burciaga was a member of the Southside Bakers criminal street gang at the time of the killing.
- The Californian