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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Taft Police continue investigation into Burell death

  • Some reports have been sent to Kern County District Attorney, but police are still working case
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  • Taft Police are continuing their investigation into the death of a Taft man on July 5.
    Billy Joe Burell Jr, 42, died from head injuries he suffered when he was pushed and fell in the street in the 600 block of Center Street.
    Another man, Lyndon Faagau, was arrested in connection with the death but was released from custody the next day.
    Lt. Pete Aranda said some of the investigative reports have been forwarded to the Kern County District Attorney but officers are still investigating the case.
    Faagau was originally charged with murder, accused of shoving Burell and causing his death.
    He was released after a few hours in custody when police acquired cell phone video showing some of the events leading up to the fatal incident.
    That video showed officers there were a lot more witnesses to interview, Chief of Police Ed Whiting said.
    Whiting added that the charges filed in connection with Burell's death would be manslaughter, not murder
    Aranda said it might be another week before police have concluded their investigation.

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