He eluded authorities for nearly two years, but on Tuesday Gabriel Verdugo was found guilty of murder in gunning down another man at a south Bakersfield bar.
Verdugo, 25, was convicted of shooting 30-year-old Elvis Garcia-Gonzalez early Aug. 8, 2015, at the El Escorpion Bar on South Chester Avenue. Deputies said the two were arguing when Verdugo pulled a gun and fired once, killing Gonzalez.
He fled but was tracked down in June in Mexicali, Mexico, where he was taken into custody and transported back to Kern County.
Garcia-Gonzalez was a decorated military veteran who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and later worked as a a Disabled Veteran's Outreach Program Specialist at the Employment Development Department in Bakersfield and Porterville, according to prosecutors.
Verdugo faces 50 years to life in prison at his Jan. 3 sentencing hearing.