Man found guilty of murder in 2021 fatal stabbing

Man found guilty of murder in 2021 fatal stabbing

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Kern County jury on Friday convicted a man of first-degree murder and other charges filed in connection to a 2021 stabbing in southwest Bakersfield, according to court records.

Corey Spells, 38, faces a life term in prison at his sentencing next month.

Spells was found guilty of killing John Anthony Sosa Jr., 48. Sosa was found unconscious and bleeding early Oct. 3, 2021, on American Avenue, north of Ming Avenue and east of Valhalla Drive, police said. He was declared dead at the scene.

Sosa used a washing stall at a nearby car wash as a makeshift encampment, police said, and surveillance footage shows he briefly fought with a man there at about 2:35 a.m., according to court filings.

The suspect leaves, and Sosa walks in the other direction while holding his neck, the filings say. He’s later seen lying on the ground.

Police arrested Spells days later after an officer recognized him from surveillance photographs of a burglary that occurred at JC Penney the month before, the filings say. He was wearing the same style of footwear and had facial hair similar to the person seen in the footage.

Spells had a “large, fixed-blade hunting knife” on him, police said. Blood on the knife matched Sosa’s DNA, according to the filings.