Murder suspect arrested after Sunday altercation

Murder suspect arrested  after Sunday altercationBy BRIAN COSNER, News Review Staff Writer

The Kern County Coroner’s office has identified the victim of last weekend’s violent encounter outside of Triple T’s Tavern as Luis Fernando Vargas Quintero, 29-year-old Ridgecrest resident. Quintero succumbed to wounds reportedly sustained from an altercation with suspect Richard Castleberry, 31, on Sunday, May 26.

According to a release from the Ridgecrest Police Department, Officer Joshua Beard was patrolling the 100 block of East Ridgecrest Boulevard just before 2 a.m. when he observed the altercation in the Triple T’s parking lot. After seeing Quintero fall to the ground, he reported seeing Castelberry flee from the scene.

Members of Triple T’s staff reportedly helped detain Castleberry as additional law enforcement personnel responded. They found Quintero suffering from a head wound, and he was transported to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries shortly thereafter.

An RPD investigation revealed that Castleberry punched the victim in the head, knocking him to the ground, said the release. Castleberry is charged with first-degree murder and was transported to the Kern County Jail in Mojave.

Castleberry’s bail was set at $100,000. His felony arraignment was Wednesday and his pre-preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 11 at 9 a.m. in Bakersfield.

Story First Published: 2019-05-31