Man convicted of murder in Fox Theater stabbing sentenced to 55 years to life

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man convicted of murder in a stabbing that occurred after a concert at the Fox Theater has been sentenced to 55 years to life in prison, according to court records.

Joel Esteban Rodriguez, 29, was sentenced Tuesday on convictions for second-degree murder and assault on a person resulting in great bodily injury. A jury found him guilty in January while acquitting three other defendants of murder.

The four were charged in the killing of Kasey Villegas, 19, following a concert by rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at the Fox Theater on Feb. 18, 2018.

According to court documents, police were dispatched to the Fox to a report of a large fight and arrived to find Villegas on the ground and bleeding heavily from multiple stab wounds. He was taken to Kern Medical, where he was pronounced dead.

Investigators determined the defendants were seated a few rows ahead of Villegas, who attended the concert with several family members. Villegas and the other men began shouting their gang affiliations, the documents say, and security removed both groups.

They continued arguing outside the theater then separated. Villegas and his girlfriend encountered the men again downtown and were chased, according to the documents.

Villegas was attacked, and collapsed fatally wounded.

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