Valley News -

Man accused of killing Good Hope pleads not guilty


Last updated 4/24/2019 at 2:17pm

RIVERSIDE - A felon accused of fatally shooting a Good Hope resident and dumping his body in a canal near where the defendant had allegedly set up an illegal marijuana cultivation site pleaded not guilty on Tuesday, April 23 to a murder charge.

Gerardo Duenas Jimenez, 48, was arrested earlier this month following a two-month Riverside County sheriff's investigation into the death of 29-year-old Rafael Quintero.

Along with murder, Jimenez is charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, as well as sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.

He was arraigned before Superior Court Judge O.G. Magno, who scheduled a June 11 felony settlement conference at the Riverside Hall of Justice.

Quintero was gunned down on Jan. 21, and his body was thrown into an irrigation canal near the intersection of Cakes Place and Keystone Drive, in an unincorporated area southwest of Perris and just northeast of Canyon Lake, according to sheriff's investigators.

The remains were discovered eight days later, prompting an investigation that ultimately led to a 5-acre parcel about two miles away at Phillips Street and Robles Lane where, investigators allege, cannabis plants were being illegally cultivated outdoors.

The cultivation site was also serving as a makeshift homeless encampment occupied by an unspecified number of people, according to sheriff's Sgt. Ben Ramirez.

Deputies destroyed the marijuana grow and questioned the occupants of the property, Ramirez said.

He said sufficient evidence was gathered to charge Jimenez with Quintero's death, though specifics about what may have happened between the two men were not disclosed.

Jimenez is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta.


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