Murder charge dropped against man involved in Oildale stabbing
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) A homeless man arrested and booked on suspicion of murder in the death of 23-year-old Steven Caleb Corpe will not face any criminal charges.
"After reviewing the case, I elected not to file charges," said Kern County Deputy District Attorney Nick Lackie.
According to Kern County sheriff's investigators, a fight broke out between Corpe and 57-year-old Ronald Burchette the night of Dec. 18 outside the Dollar General store on Roberts Lane.
During a jailhouse interview with Eyewitness News, Burchette said he and Corpe argued and that Corpe went after him with a Taser. Burchette said he armed himself with a knife. Lackie said investigators found a Taser at the scene.
"It is consistent with the defendant's account that there was a Taser involved and the victim was wielding that," said the prosecutor.
Lackie said the facts raised a significant self-defense issue.
"I looked at the case and didn't real feel after doing that that I could go to a jury and ask them to find that the defendant was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt," said Lackie.
Corpe leaves behind a wife and an 8-month-old baby.
Should new evidence surface in the case, Lackie said it is possible Burchette could be arrested and charged, depending on the evidence.