Stabbing suspect arrested for murder

Stabbing suspect arrested for murderBy BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

Officers of the Ridgecrest Police Department made one arrest on Monday following the suspected stabbing and murder of 31-year-old Ridgecrest resident Derrick Demetric White. Steven Earl Caldwell, 42, was booked in the Bakersfield Central Receiving facility where he faces a felony homicide charge.

Officers responded to the area of South Warner Street and West Wilson Avenue Monday afternoon regarding reports of a man down in the street. Officers reportedly found White in the street suffering from a stab wound. After resuscitation attempts, he was transported to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries later that day.

According to Police Chief Jed McLaughlin, officers learned that White and Caldwell got into an altercation, which escalated when Caldwell allegedly pulled out a pocket knife and stabbed White in the upper torso near his neck.

While interviewing witnesses and interested parties, police found Caldwell still at home near the scene. Officers recovered the murder weapon in a field behind his home where they suspect Caldwell discarded it.

The suspect was taken into custody without incident.

“I’m proud of my guys,” said McLaughlin. “It was a cut-and-dry case, and they did a good job.”

“Thank you to our Ridgecrest Police Department. To all the officers, all the people who helped and all the volunteers.” said Mayor Peggy Breeden during a city meeting on Wednesday. “In 11 hours we had the case solved and caught the perpetrator.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact RPD Detective Harlow at 760-499-5112.

Pictured: Ridgecrest police officers and volunteers secure the scene of a suspected homicide on Monday evening — Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2019-04-26