The trial of a man charged with murder in the shooting deaths of his mother and stepfather in northwest Bakersfield has been postponed for a year.
Derek Connell was originally set to stand trial on Feb. 27, but that date was postponed Wednesday to Jan. 29, 2018. He could face the death penalty if convicted.
Connell, 29, is accused of shooting Christopher Tare Higginbotham and Kim Higginbotham, both 48, multiple times on April 30 in their home on Lily Pad Court. He had been living with his mother and stepfather after serving a jail sentence for a DUI in Colorado.
According to court documents, Connell told investigators he had been drinking heavily that day. He said he spoke with his stepfather before going to bed, and the next thing he remembered was finding their bodies.
He told investigators he's not sure what happened, the documents said, but believes he is responsible.
Connell served in the U.S. Army from 2005 to 2008, and was less than honorably discharged due to an incident involving alcohol, he said in court filings.
Deputy District Attorney Art Norris is prosecuting the case. Connell is represented by Deputy Public Defender Paul Cadman.