NewsCovering Kern County


Man sentenced in burning, burying of body in SW Bakersfield home

Will only serve two additional days behind bars
Posted at 3:13 PM, Jun 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-05 18:13:58-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — One of three people convicted in the death and hiding of a body found burned and buried in a Southwest Bakersfield backyard has been sentenced to 270 days in jail and three years probation.

Because he has been credited with 268 days of time served and good behavior, Dennis Marroquin will only have to serve two more days behind bars.

Marroquin was sentenced Wednesday for conspiring to commit a crime in the death of Joseph Lara, whose body was found burned and buried in the backyard of a home on Hathaway Avenue back in January. Back in May, Marroquin pleaded no contest to the charge in exchange for prosecutors dropping an accessory charge.

Two other people have taken plea deals for their parts in the hiding of Lara's body, David Williams III and Kailee Morrison.

Williams was sentenced in April to four years in prison after pleading no contest to involuntary manslaughter.

Morrison was also due in court Wednesday for sentencing, but that was continued to June 13. Like Marroquin, she previously pleaded no contest to conspiring to commit a crime.

Court documents obtained by 23ABC News show Marroquin told police the 21-year-old Lara died of a drug overdose at a home in a different area. Those documents show Marroquin admitted he and another person then put Lara's body into the trunk of a vehicle and drove to the Hathaway Avenue home.

That's where they then burned and buried Lara's body, according to the documents.

Later, a dog found a body part partially sticking out of the ground and police were called to the home.

Marroquin, Williams and Morrison were all later arrested in connection with Lara's death and burial. In court documents, Williams admitted to police that he provided drugs to Lara, who then overdosed.