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Jury finds man guilty of murder for officer's death during high-speed chase

Julian Hernandez sits in Kern County court in Bakersfield, Calif., Thursday, April 5, 2018, after finding out he was found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Bakersfield Police Officer David Nelson as a result of a crash during a high-speed pursuit in 2015. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) – A Kern County jury on Thursday found a man guilty on all charges, including second-degree murder, in the death of a Bakersfield police officer that resulted from a crash during a high-speed pursuit.

Julian Hernandez was convicted on two charges related to the officer’s deadly crash, and three charges related to being a felon in possession of a gun.

Officer David Nelson wrecked his patrol car in June 2015 while chasing Hernandez through northeast Bakersfield in the middle of the night.

The prosecution’s argument was that Hernandez knew his behavior -- leading Nelson in a high-speed pursuit -- would likely cause great harm, and that the defendant acted with reckless disregard for human life.

The defense argued that Hernandez didn’t intend to kill Nelson when he fled.

Following announcement of the verdict, Police Chief Lyle Martin said he would reserve comment until after sentencing.


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