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Wednesday, Dec 18 2013 05:29 PM

Man who buried friend's body in yard sentenced to 38 years in prison

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Frank Jude Valles in Kern County Superior Court in August 2012.

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

Frank Jude Valles and Alphonso John Hyde were inseparable.

Hyde gave Valles power of attorney over him. He lived with Valles and his wife in their southwest Bakersfield home.

Valles made sure they stayed close even after Hyde's death. He buried his friend in his yard.

The Kern County Superior Court website Wednesday reported that Valles was sentenced to 38 years in prison. He pleaded no contest last month to voluntary manslaughter and 12 counts of grand theft.

The 46-year-old maintains his friend died of a heart attack and that he was following a Native American ritual by burying the body and not telling authorities. Prosecutor Ken Green has said Valles killed Hyde and hid the body in order to collect Hyde's Indian tribal reservation checks.

Hyde received between $10,000 to $20,000 in each monthly check. Valles has agreed to pay restitution of $600,000 to Hyde's relatives.

It has not been determined exactly when, where and how Hyde died.

Bakersfield police began a homicide investigation in August 2012 after Valles' wife told them she'd recorded a conversation in which Valles offered their gardener thousands of dollars to help move a body. Police found Hyde's remains in the yard of a home in the 5900 block of Grass Creek Drive, and also in a yard in the 200 block of Curnow Road in south Bakersfield.

Green said Valles took the plea deal because he wanted a definite release date to look forward to.

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