Men Accused of Gunning Down Bakersfield Toddler Enter Pleas

Two men accused of fatally shooting a Bakersfield toddler have entered no contest pleas to voluntary manslaughter, attempted murder and other charges.

25-year-old Tyrone Johnson and 23-year-old David Palms entered the pleas before Judge Colette M. Humphrey Monday.

Johnson faces 42 years and eight months, and Palms will likely serve 27 years in prison after the gang-related shooting that occurred on Nov. 10, 2017 when the two men kicked open the door to a Pershing Street apartment and opened fire, killing 3-year-old Major Sutton and wounding his young brother and pregnant mother. The intended target, a rival gang member,  was not in the apartment.

Johnson and Palms each pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter with enhancements, two counts of attempted murder, and escaping jail.

Authorities say the pair broke out of Lerdo Jail in April 2021 by cutting a hole in the ceiling and making their way to the roof.  Surveillance footage showed Johnson and Palms sliding down a flagpole as they made their escape.

Palms was recaptured hours later at a Dollar General store on Lerdo Highway near Highway 43.

Johnson remained at large for nearly two months before being taken into custody after a vehicle chase in Bakersfield.

Posted by Jeff Lemucchi