California parents convicted of killing 4-year-old adopted son; another son, 3, still missing
05/22/2023 12:15 pm PDT
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (TCD) -- A Central California couple has been convicted of several charges and acquitted on others in connection with the disappearance and deaths of their two young adopted sons.
Kern County Superior Court records show a jury found Trezell West and Jacqueline West guilty of second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, two counts of willful cruelty to children, and false report of emergency for the deaths of 4-year-old Orrin West and 3-year-old Orson West. The jury could not return a verdict on charges of conspire to commit a crime and another count of second-degree murder.
According to the Bakersfield Californian, the second-degree murder conviction relates to Orrin’s death, but the jury could not determine if they murdered Orson. There is reportedly a possibility that Kern County prosecutors may retry the defendants for the two charges the jurors could not agree on.
The two boys were reported missing Dec. 21, 2020, and their bodies have still not been found.
Trezell West initially told police he was collecting firewood outside while Jacqueline wrapped Christmas presents and the two boys played outside with sidewalk chalk. He claimed Orrin and Orson disappeared after he came back from bringing the wood inside. Trezell and Jacqueline West’s then-10-year-old child reportedly told police he saw Orrin choking and vomiting, and when he touched him, he was cold.
KERO-TV reports the couple’s oldest son told investigators Jacqueline and Trezell West said he and his siblings would get taken out of their home if they told anyone what happened to Orrin.
Jacqueline and Trezell West will be sentenced July 13.
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