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Kern County men headed to prison for attempting to kill man on Yolo County road

Published: Friday, Mar. 28, 2014 - 6:09 pm

The second of two men convicted of conspiring in the attempted murder of a man ambushed on a rural Yolo County Road in 2012 has been sentenced to prison.

David Earl Bristow, 55, of Bakersfield was sentenced Friday to 40 years to life in prison by Yolo County Superior Court Judge Stephen Mock, according to a District Attorney’s Office news release. Bristow was convicted Jan. 3 of conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, assault with a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon, and enhancements for personal use of a firearm, inflicting great bodily injury and serving prior prison terms.

On Feb. 14, Judge Mock sentenced Danny Joe Stearman, 65, of Shafter, to 29 years to life in prison. Stearman was convicted Jan. 6 for his role in the crimes.

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 getting out of his car, Cullen was shot in the back of the head, stabbed and run down with his own vehicle, authorities said.

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

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

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

Read more articles by Cathy Locke

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