BAKERSFIELD — The adoptive parents of two California City boys who were reported missing in 2020 were found guilty of second-degree murder as as other offenses following a jury trial on May 18 at the Metro Branch of the Kern County Superior Court in Bakersfield.
Trezell and Jacqueline West were found guilty of five of the seven charges after dozens of people testified and more than 100 exhibits were presented during the week long trial.
Jurors found the Wests guilty of second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and child cruelty regarding Orrin West, 4, but failed to reach verdicts on second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in connection with Orson’s death. A guilty verdict for child cruelty was returned regarding Orson. In addition, the adoptive parents were convicted of falsely reporting an emergency.
Authorities have not discovered the location of the boys' bodies.
According to court reports, the Wests reported Orrin and Orson missing from their California City home on Dec. 21, 2020. Prosecutors say the boys died three months earlier while the family was still living in Bakersfield with their six children.
Prosecutor Eric Smith claimed the Wests abused their adopted children, and that Orrin died in September 2020.
According to Smith, the Wests tried to cover up the murders of the two boys by disposing of their bodies.
The defense counsel argued that authorities did not investigate other possibilities, and that the boys could have been murdered by a sex offender or by a member of their biological family.
Convictions for second-degree murder carries a prison term of 15 years to life.
Sentencing is set for July 13.
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