Man accused of shooting Kern County grape grower appears in court

Mariano Fernandez Perez appears in Kern County court in Bakersfield, Calif., on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, accused of shooting and killing grape grower Jakov Dulcich. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

The arraignment was continued Tuesday for the man accused of killing a prominent Kern County grape grower.

Mariano Fernandez Perez, of Delano, appeared in court, covering his face from media cameras. His arraignment was rescheduled to next week.

Perez is accused of shooting Dulcich & Sons founder Jakov Dulcich last week. Dulcich's company is best known for its Pretty Lady table grapes.

Perez faces four charges, including first-degree murder and attempted murder.

Dulcich crashed with another vehicle after the car-to-car shooting on the outskirts of Delano. Some workers were in the area, heard a commotion, saw the vehicles and called 911.

The Sheriff's Office said Perez got into a physical confrontation with another driver after Dulcich's crash, and Perez allegedly fired at least one shot but no one was injured.

Perez was arrested over the weekend.

There is still at least one additional suspect who has not been identified, the Sheriff's Office said.

Anyone with information helpful to the investigation is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (661) 861-3110 or the Secret Witness hotline at 322-4040.

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