A man charged in the slaying of his brother in a stabbing is set to be sentenced on Tuesday.
Ralph Valenzuela, 32, was arrested in July 2018 on suspicion in the killing of his 30-year-old brother, Richie Vincent Valenzuela, after they had gotten into a fight. He pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter in April in exchange for the murder charge being dismissed, according to court records.
Valenzuela is expected to be sentenced at Tuesday’s hearing to up to 10 years in prison for the voluntary manslaughter charge instead of facing a life sentence.
The Bakersfield Police Department said on July 25, 2018, officers were sent to the 1300 block of Gage Street at around 12:30 a.m. after getting a report of a stabbing. The officers found Richie Valenzuela with several stab wounds.
He was taken to Kern Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead later that morning, BPD said.
Ralph Valenzuela was located by police later that day in the 8500 block of Kern Canyon Road and was subsequently arrested and booked into the Kern County Jail.
Valenzuela denied any involvement in his brother’s death, according to court documents.
BPD said a witness told them that Richie Valenzuela had run up to her, told her that he had been stabbed and asked her to call 911, after which he began running again. According to court documents, Richie’s brother caught up with him and was attempting to put him in a Honda Accord when police showed up.
BPD said Ralph Valenzuela claimed he was trying to take his brother to the hospital. He was initially detained but was eventually released at the scene. He wasn’t arrested until around 5 p.m. on July 25, after BPD had conducted an investigation into the incident.
A trial date may be confirmed this week for a man facing charges of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a young boy.
Hilario Viruncruz, 31, will be in court for a readiness hearing on Friday, where a trial date could be confirmed for May 28 or pushed back to another time. Viruncruz was arrested on Sept. 3, 2018, on suspicion of offering $20 to a boy under 14 for some yard work and sexually assaulting him after the boy agreed to do the job.
Viruncruz has been charged with kidnapping and two counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14.
The Kern County Sheriff’s Office said at around 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 3, deputies were sent to the area of Cliffwood Way and Derby Drive in northeast Bakersfield after getting a tip of a possible sighting of a truck suspected in the kidnapping, which occurred on Sept. 1.
Deputies found Viruncruz at the site and determined that the truck matched surveillance video the department had seized as part of the investigation. Viruncruz was subsequently arrested and booked into the Kern County Jail.
According to court documents, the boy told detectives that he was walking north on Horace Mann Avenue near Niles Street on Sept. 1 when he saw a man working on his pickup in a parking lot in the area. The man asked if the boy wanted to make some money by helping him.
The boy said he agreed but wanted to tell his parents first. Viruncruz allegedly told him he could give him a ride home in the truck, an offer the boy accepted.
Viruncruz claimed that he had run out of gas and parked the truck in an empty lot in the 3600 block of Balvicar Avenue. He then allegedly began massaging the boy’s neck and reaching under his shirt and pants, despite protests from the juvenile, court documents show.
Eventually, the boy was able to get free and ran to a nearby residence to ask for help.