Valley News -

Suspect in Temecula Walmart stabbing is identified


Last updated 11/30/2017 at Noon

James Fortney, 40, was arrested in connection with a stabbing that left another man dead on Wednesday, Nov. 29. Courtesy photo.

UPDATE: Thursday, Nov. 30, 9:15 p.m.

A suspect in a stabbing that left a teen dead on Wednesday afternoon was out on bail by the next day, according to online jail records.

James Beckham Fortney, 40, of Temecula was arrested on suspicion of voluntary manslaughter and booked into the Cois M. Byrd Detention Center.

Initially, jail records indicated his bail was set at $100,000, but by later in the day that number had been reduced to $80,000.

By evening, jail records showed he had been released on bail.

Beckham was detained and later arrested in an alleged stabbing that happened in a Walmart parking lot in the 32200 block of Temecula Parkway, according to the Riverside County sheriff's department.

Sheriff's officials say that a dispute that started outside the parking lot continued to the parking lot itself.

Deputies arrived to find a man suffering from apparent stabbing-related injuries and tried to render aid before he was taken to the hospital.

The man, identified on social media and in news reports as 19-year-old Kevin Rodriguez, was taken to the hospital and died from his injuries there.

Original story:

Sheriff's officials have identified the suspect in a fatal stabbing outside a Temecula Walmart on Wednesday afternoon as James Beckham Fortney, 40, of Temecula.

Fortney was arrested on suspicion of voluntary manslaughter and booked into the Cois M. Byrd Detention Center with bail set at $100,000, according to online jail records.

According to a Riverside County sheriff's news release, deputies went to the 32200 block of Temecula Parkway about 12:14 p.m. after receiving a report of a stabbing, Nov. 29.

They found man suffering from apparent stabbing-related injuries. The man was treated at the scene before being taken to the hospital. He died from his injuries there, officials say.

Though sheriff's officials have not yet identified the victim in the incident, social media postings and news reports identify him as 19-year-old Murrieta resident Kevin Rodriguez.

Fortney was detained for several hours before being arrested in the incident.

For several hours Wednesday, the parking lot outside the Temecula Walmart was heavily taped off as a numerous onlookers attempted to process the chaotic scene of sheriff's cars and deputies investigating.

Some individuals had speculated that the incident stemmed from a dispute over parking, but social media accounts associated with the sheriff's department said it started outside the Walmart parking lot and continued there. The accounts emphasize that the incident did not have anything to do with a parking stall.

Sheriff's officials are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact homicide investigators at (760) 393-3530 or (760) 393-3528.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as information becomes available.


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