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Kern County men convicted of conspiring to murder man left for dead in Yolo County

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 - 7:00 pm

Two Kern County men have been convicted of conspiring to murder a man they assaulted and left for dead along a Yolo County road in 2012.

A Yolo County jury on Friday found David Earl Bristow, 55, of Bakersfield guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, assault with a firearm and assault with a deadly weapon. Jurors also found the enhancements for personal use of a firearm and inflicting great bodily injury to be true, according to a Yolo County District Attorney’s Office news release.

On Monday, a second Yolo County jury found 65-year-old Danny Jo Stearman of Shafter guilty of the same charges, but found not true the enhancement for personal use of a firearm.

Bristow and Stearman were tried together in a joint trial, but they had separate juries.

On Oct. 1, 2012, Bristow and Stearman ambushed Mark Cullen of Arbuckle on County Line Road in the Dunnigan area as he was on his way to work. Stearman, Cullen’s ex-wife’s uncle, and Bristow, the hired hit man, used their vehicle to force Cullen’s car to a stop. After Cullen got out of his vehicle, he was shot in the back of the head, stabbed, sliced in the face and run down with his own vehicle, authorities said. The defendants then left him on the side of the road to die.

But Cullen survived the attack and was found by a co-worker.

When Cullen failed to show up for his scheduled midnight shift at Adams Vegetable Oils Inc. in Colusa County, the co-worker called Cullen’s cell phone. Cullen was able to answer the phone and told the co-worker that he was on County Line Road and was dying, according to sheriff’s officials.

The co-worker drove the route that Cullen usually traveled to work and found him lying on the side of the road.

Cullen was able to immediately identify Stearman as one of his assailants, and Yolo County sheriff’s detectives used cell phone records to identify Bristow as the second attacker.

Stearman is to be sentenced Feb. 14 by Yolo County Superior Court Judge Stephen Mock, who presided over the trial. Bristow’s sentencing date has not been scheduled.


Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

Read more articles by Cathy Locke



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