Bakersfield Man Sentenced to Life for Second Murder Linked to Gambling Dispute

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In an escalation of an illicit online gambling operation, Darnell Lucifer Pierce, a resident of Bakersfield, California, has committed murder due to outstanding financial disputes. At age 41, Pierce has been issued a sentence of 53 years to life in prison for the crime committed on a recent Tuesday. The conviction was rendered in August, due to the first-degree murder of his business accomplice, 30-year-old Mubarek Alnajar.

This marks the second instance where Pierce has faced charges for murder. In the history-laden year of 2007, he was apprehended under the suspicion of having killed Leslie Grace Ahart, aged 34. Ahart’s deceased body was tragically found in the parking lot of Bakersfield’s Subaru School, with a lethal gunshot wound to her head.

Evidence surfaced linking Pierce to Ahart’s murder when his DNA was discovered in her mouth post-mortem. Yet, he was absolved of both rape and murder when the jury opted to accept that the evidence only demonstrated sexual encounter between him and the victim, not that he was involved in her murder.

Pierce has a lengthy criminal record containing indecent exposure and battery offenses. Just last year, on January 13, 2021, he planned a rendezvous with Alnajar in an alley in southwest Bakersfield, as per court details. When Alnajar brought his vehicle to a halt in the alley, Pierce advanced to the vehicle and without hesitation, shot him in the face. Alnajar managed to stagger out of his car and ambled approximately 20 feet before collapsing and meeting his demise, as informed by prosecutors.

Pierce was taken into custody a week post the incident with minimal resistance and denied being involved in shooting Alnajar, who he alleged was his friend. The supervising deputy district attorney, Gina Pearl, expressed satisfaction with the verdict stating, “I cannot think of a more appropriate sentence than life in prison for this defendant who has been in and out of prison since 1995”. She went on to describe Pierce as a repeat sex offender, having been convicted on five separate counts.

While serving a sentence in 2010 at Wasco State Prison, Pierce revealed a perverse predilection for exposing himself to female staff, including a psychologist undertaking mental health assessments. Furthermore, authorities suspect Pierce of being affiliated to the notorious Country Boy Crips gang. His past convictions include felony spousal abuse, possession of drugs and alcohol in jail, and failure to register as a sex offender.

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