KERN COUNTY, Calif. (KERO) — A Kern County Juvenile Court judge found a 16-year-old boy guilty Wednesday in a Nov. 18th, 2020, double murder. State law prohibited the teen from being tried as an adult.
According to court documents, an 18-year-old and a 17-year-old victim were shot multiple times through the window of their vehicle as they were stopped at Niles Street and Fairfax Road in Bakersfield and died.
Then 15-year-old Daqwontay Cage was identified as the person who killed the victims. According to court documents, Cage was "jumped into a gang" and left a vehicle with other gang members, walked up the side of the victim's vehicle and fired 11 shots at them before leaving. Cage and other gang members bragged about the shooting the next day, according to court documents.
Evidence presented during the trial also showed that Cage bragged to a probation officer 3 months later that he had committed multiple murders for the gang.
Cage was not eligible to be tried as an adult due to Senate Bill 1391, a state law passed in 2018 which came into effect in 2019.
The law prohibits the transfer of any person to adult court when the person was 14 or 15 years old at the time the crime occurred and prohibits the trying of 14- and 15-year-old offenders as an adult regardless of the number and severity of the crimes alleged to have been committed.
Cage was sent to the APEX Facility, a Kern County Secure Youth Treatment Facility that was established to transition California Division of Juvenile Justice youth to local custody upon its closure by the state in 2021.
The sentence at APEX is seven years with the juvenile court’s jurisdiction ending by the person's 25th birthday. Absent unusual or extraordinary circumstances, Cage is expected to be released on his 25th birthday.