RIDGECREST, Calif. — A Ridgecrest man pleaded no contest to a charge of voluntary manslaughter for punching a man who fell, hit his head and later died.
According to a release from the Kern County District Attorney's Office, 32-year-old Richard Castleberry entered the plea before a superior court judge and charges of first-degree murder and assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury were dismissed.
He now faces 11 years in prison.
According to court documents, on May 26 of last year, Castleberry was escorted out of Triple T's Tavern on Ridgecrest Boulevard shortly before closing time. That was when he became confrontational with bar employees and hit the victim Luis Quintero, who was standing near a bar employee's car.
Quintero, 29, fell and hit the back of his head on the car. He was taken to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Prosecutors said Castleberry was chased by witnesses until police arrived and arrested him.
Castleberry will be sentenced on September 14.