Man sentenced to life without parole for killing man found near orchard

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A man was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the death of a man who was found in an orchard back in March of 2014.

The man found dead was identified as Silvestre Soto, 49, and the autopsy revealed that the cause of death was due to shotgun wounds.

Juan Francisco Lopez was convicted of multiple charges including first degree murder, discharge of a firearm and murder for financial gain.

KCSO Detectives were sent to an orchard on Neumarkel Road which is just north of Edison Highway in March 2014 at about 8:10 a.m.

A worker had been checking orchards in the area and noticed a parked car. He decided to check on the vehicle and see why it was parked there and found Soto dead outside of the vehicle.

Deputies say the body displayed obvious signs of trauma and that the vehicle and body didn't appear to have been out there for more than a day.

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