D.A. declines to prosecute suspect in fight on Center Street

No charges will be filed in connection with the death of a Taft man in a fight in the 600 block of Center Street on July 5.

Taft Police Lt. Pete Aranda said the Kern County District Attorney's Office reviewed the investigative reports and decided there was not enough evidence to prosecute the suspect, Lyndon Faagau, for the death of Billy Burell.

Burell died when he struck his head on the street after being pushed or shoved in a fight, police said.

“At this point they have decided they are not going to file any charges,” Aranda said. “They felt there was not enough to prosecute for manslaughter.”

The District Attorney reviewed both Taft Police investigative reports and videotape of the incident.

Faagau, 24, was arrested by police after Burell's death but released the next day when officers obtained cell phone video of the events leading up to the fight and found there were many more witnesses to interview.

Faagau was initially charged with murder, but, after his release, Chief of Police Ed Whiting said manslaughter charges were more appropriate.