Man accused of shooting 2 teens during Corona theater date will face trial – Press Enterprise
The 21-year-old man accused of shooting two teenage boys on a date at a Corona movie theater will face trial for their deaths, a Riverside County Superior Court judge ruled on Friday, September 2, in the outcome of a one-day preliminary hearing.
Improvements to the charges of waiting murder and multiple murders make Joseph Jimenez eligible for the death penalty if convicted. District Attorney Mike Hestrin has not announced whether his office will pursue that sentence.
Jimenez is accused of shooting to death Corona residents Rylee Goodrich, 18, and Anthony Barajas, 19, who had a date at the Regal Edwards Cinema on July 26, 2021.
Jimenez, in a jailhouse interview a week later with a reporter for the Southern California News Group, said he suffered from schizophrenia and had heard voices telling him to kill the couple in an effort to save his friends. and his family from the perceived harm.
At the theater, the teenagers and Jimenez were the only remaining patrons.
Three of Jimenez’s friends, upset that he retrieved a gun from his car and talked to himself, left. The friends did not alert anyone to the danger, according to a sworn affidavit written to obtain a warrant for Jimenez’s arrest. The friends have not been charged with any crime.
Barajas was a 2019 graduate of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, where he was an honor student, soccer star and starred in plays. He had hundreds of thousands of followers on TikTok.
Goodrich, a 2020 graduate of Corona High School’s STEM Academy, was enrolled at Grand Canyon University in Arizona.
Jimenez, a graduate of Santiago de Corona High School, apparently did not know the victims. He lived in an unincorporated area of the county near Corona known as El Cerrito.
Nearly a year ago, Jimenez pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity. The two different pleas were necessary because there would be two phases to the trial: a guilt phase and a phase to determine if Jimenez was insane.
In California, defendants found not guilty by reason of insanity must be treated in a state psychiatric hospital. Jimenez should stay there, an assistant prosecutor said, until he is deemed sane and not a threat to the public. But unlike a defendant deemed incompetent to stand trial and later rehabilitated, he would no longer face charges.