Man, 18, Pleads Guilty to Thermal Shooting, Granted 3 Years Probation

INDIO (CNS) – An 18-year-old man who participated in a vehicle-to- vehicle shooting in Thermal pleaded guilty to felony charges and was immediately sentenced to three years of formal probation. Landon Harvey Torres of Thermal pleaded guilty Wednesday at the Larson Justice Center to four felony counts of attempted murder and one felony count each of shooting at a vehicle and permitting the discharge of a firearm, according to court records. He additionally pleaded guilty to sentence- enhancing firearm allegations. “He received a sentence of 36 months of formal probation,” Riverside District Attorney’s office director of communications Amy McKenzie told City News Service. “However, if he violates a term of his probation, he could be sentenced up to five years.” His co-defendant, 18-year-old Michael Jordan Vega also of Thermal and facing the same charges, is set to appear at the Larson Justice Center June 16 for a preliminary hearing. Deputies were investigating a shooting in the 63000 block of Landon Lane Oct. 1, 2022, when the department’s dispatch center received a call regarding an exchange of gunfire between a blue Chevrolet pickup and a red

Menifee Student Suspected of Bringing Gun onto Middle School Campus

MENIFEE (CNS) – A middle school student in Menifee was caught carrying a gun in his backpack while on campus, culminating in his arrest, authorities said Thursday. The student, whose identity was not disclosed due to his age, was taken into custody Wednesday at Ethan Chase Middle School on Calm Horizon Drive, according to the Menifee Police Department. Capt. Heriberto Gutierrez said that police officers were at the school to investigate an unrelated incident and were informed by staff that the suspect was walking around campus with a concealed firearm. “Staff immediately located the identified subject and escorted (him) to the office,” the captain said. “Officers assisted with the search based on the allegations made and located an unloaded firearm in the subject’s backpack. There were no threats made to the school or other students on campus by the subject.” No classrooms were placed on lockdown. A possible motive for the juvenile’s allegedly bringing the gun to school was not provided. The youth was arrested and booked into Riverside Juvenile Hall on suspicion of possession of a firearm on school grounds, a felony, according to

Man Suspected of Gunning Down Motorist near High School Campus

BANNING (CNS) – A 19-year-old man allegedly gunned down a young motorist as the victim drove past a high school campus in Banning where a graduation ceremony was underway, authorities said Thursday. Daveyon Dickee Lee Woodley of Banning was arrested and booked into the Smith Correctional Facility Wednesday on suspicion of first-degree murder, lying in wait and shooting at an occupied vehicle. Woodley is being held without bail. According to the Banning Police Department, about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, the suspect, wearing a mask and clad in dark-colored clothing, positioned himself near the entrance to Banning High School on Westward Avenue, where a charter school was holding a graduation ceremony, with several Banning police officers assigned to the campus providing security. “One of the officers witnessed (the) suspect … shooting into a black sedan that was traveling eastbound on Westward Avenue, in front of the high school,” the police department said in a statement. “The sedan collided into a light pole and came to a stop, and the suspect ran from the location, as the witnessing officer gave chase.” The lawman requested medical aid for the

Cathedral City And PSUSD Honors Two Students With Street Signs

Cathedral City along with Palm Springs Unified School District celebrated two star students within their district earlier Thursday morning. One student was honored at Cathedral City High and the other at Mount San Jacinto High, the new signs honoring these two bright students are located near their respective schools. “I’m just speechless.” says one of the students.   The students did the honors of unveiling their street signs, named for them, just outside of their school.   “We were at Cathedral City High School this morning, and here today right now at Mount San Jacinto Continuation High School, and this is a lovely event, in collaboration with the city to really honor these exceptional students.” says Dr. Mike Swize, the Superintendent for PSUSD. Priscila Marquez and Landon Kuykendall are two of the top students at their schools. Priscila will be attending Caltech in the fall, and Landon, he graduated early in December and is attending College of The Desert.   “We keep our fingers crossed that all the brilliance and the wonderfulness of these young students, that they come back to Cathedral City, that they fall in love

Pretrial Motions Begin for Felon Accused of Killing Girlfriend, Wounding Dad

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Pretrial motions began Thursday ahead of jury selection for the trial of a 25-year-old convicted felon accused of fatally shooting the mother of his infant son and wounding his father during a fit of rage at his family’s Riverside home. Andrew Matthew Stewart is charged with murder, attempted murder, domestic violence, child cruelty, being a felon in possession of a firearm and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations. Stewart allegedly gunned down 23-year-old Kim Grajeda, as well as put a bullet in his father, whose name was not disclosed, during a 2019 attack at the latter’s property in the 16000 block of Jordana Circle, a mile north of Lake Mathews. The case was assigned Thursday to the courtroom of Riverside County Superior Court Judge Mark Johnson at the Riverside Hall of Justice. Johnson ruled on motions concerning proposed witnesses and evidence before adjourning for the day. Additional motions will be considered Monday morning, after which jury selection is slated to start. Stewart is being held on $2 million bail at the nearby Robert Presley Jail. According to sheriff’s investigators, the defendant

Palm Desert Teen Seeking a Miracle in Neurocytonix Treatment

Sienna Coie, a resilient young teen, is sharing her journey to recovery, and determination to walk again after a life-altering car accident in 2019. At 12, Sienna Coie’s life took a dramatic turn when a car accident left her with an incomplete spinal cord injury, affecting her T12-L1 vertebrae. Instantly, she lost the ability to walk and control her lower extremities. She had to transition to a life in a wheelchair. She also had to adapt to new ways of performing even the simplest daily activities. Despite the challenges posed by an incomplete spinal cord injury, Sienna is working her way through recovery by way of physical therapy. Sienna says the spinal cord injury is not just a physical challenge, but also a mental struggle. According to Sienna’s mother Ursula, initially, they focused on regaining balance and relearning how to sit up. Gradually, she transitioned to crawling and, with the aid of a walker and leg braces, is now able to take independent steps. Her ultimate goal is to regain the life she once enjoyed, participating in activities such as soccer, dance, and basketball. Now

Felon Accused of Killing Hemet Man Who Vanished to Stand Trial for Murder

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – A convicted felon accused of killing a 27-year-old Hemet man and dumping his remains near Perris must stand trial for murder, a judge ruled Thursday. Ricardo Pardo, 40, of Perris was arrested last summer following a nearly yearlong Riverside County Sheriff’s Department investigation into the slaying of Joshua Crosier. At the end of a preliminary hearing Thursday, Superior Court Judge Timothy Hollenhorst found there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial on the murder charge, as well as sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations. The judge scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for June 15 at the Riverside Hall of Justice and left Pardo’s bail set at $1 million. He’s being held at the nearby Robert Presley Jail. According to sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Brosche, Crosier vanished in late August 2021, culminating in a missing person investigation that turned into a homicide investigation when, in April 2022, detectives received information from an undisclosed source indicating that the victim had been killed. The investigative team procured evidence pointing to Pardo as the alleged assailant, and he was arrested on July 28, Brosche said. “On

Man, 37, Pleads Guilty to DHS Armed Carjacking, Sentenced to 16 Years Prison

INDIO (CNS) – A 37-year-old man pleaded guilty Thursday to perpetrating an armed carjacking of a motorist in Desert Hot Springs with two others and was immediately sentenced to 16 years in state prison. Johnny Artis, 37, of Desert Hot Springs pleaded guilty Thursday at the Larson Justice Center in Indio to one felony count each of kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, according to court records. He additionally admitted to sentence-enhancing firearm allegations. Artis was immediately sentenced to 16 years in state prison, according to court records. Co-defendants Christian Salas and Stephanie Dierkes, both 30 and of Desert Hot Springs, pleaded guilty earlier this year to the same charges and admitted to a sentence-enhancing allegation of carrying out a crime for the benefit of a gang, according to court records. Salas pleaded guilty Feb. 1 and was immediately sentenced to six years in state prison while Dierkes pleaded guilty March 6 and was immediately sentenced to 13 years in state prison. The armed carjacking occurred at around 5 a.m. May 3, 2018 in the 66800 block of Ironwood Drive. “Officers contacted the victim who was not

Popular Hiking Sites Closed for Duration of Wildfire Season

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Riverside County Fire Department Chief Bill Weiser Thursday officially closed access to multiple outdoor recreational locations for the duration of Southern California Wildfire Season to minimize public safety risks. The chief received authorization from the Board of Supervisors last week to implement the closures, a practice that began in 2007. The designated grounds are located mainly in the central and southwest portions of the county, and they’re expected to remain off-limits until at least November. “Riverside County experienced heavier rain than usual this year, which has led to a larger grass crop,” Weiser said. “This creates a greater chance of large, damaging wildfires. I urge all residents and visitors to be fire smart and use caution when enjoying our beautiful outdoor recreation areas. Your diligence and vigilance helps keep our communities and firefighters safe.” Wildflower and other blooms have literally saturated and covered previously open trails, especially in the western half of the county. Wildfires in any of the locations that have been closed would be difficult to manage, given their terrain and remoteness, officials said. The following sites fall under the

Cathedral City Streets Renamed to Honor Two High School Students

CATHEDRAL CITY (CNS) – Cathedral City Mayor Rita Lamb and City Council members honored two high school students Thursday as they unveiled a pair of new street signs. The annual student street-naming ceremonies began at 8 a.m. Thursday at the intersection of Date Palm Drive and Dave Kelley Road. There was second ceremony at 8:30 a.m. at the intersection of Landau Boulevard and McCallum Way. A ceremony to honor Priscila Marquez of Cathedral City High School was held first, and Landon Kuykendall’s of Mount San Jacinto High School followed, according to Hunt. The streets, adjacent to their respective schools, will be renamed for one year. Kuykendall will continue taking heating ventilation and air conditioning classes at College of the Desert as an early college enrollee after graduating early in December while Marquez prepares for a career in STEM with a $50,000 scholarship she received, according to Hunt. “(Marquez) tutors other students, has built a website and is involved in pre-professional organizations … while balancing a job as a cashier at an El Pollo Loco in Palm Desert,” Hunt said in a statement. “(Kuykendall) truly took

Desert Hot Springs Health & Wellness Center Complex to Host Open House

DESERT HOT SPRINGS (CNS) – An open house will be held Friday for the Health and Wellness Center Complex in Desert Hot Springs in an effort to inform residents about programs and offerings in the recreation center. The free event will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at the Health and Wellness Center Complex, 11750 Cholla Drive, according to a statement from the city of Desert Hot Springs. “We want our community to know there’s so much to do right here in our city (from) kids to adults (and) everyone in between,” said Mayor Scott Matas in a statement. “It’s so neat to see people picking up a pickleball racquet for the first time or learning how to do the Argentine tango.” The facility features the John H. Furbee Aquatic Center, basketball and volleyball courts, a fitness center and a health and wellness center, according to city officials. Residents have the opportunity to enroll in a selection of dozens of classes ranging from adult archery to youth strength and conditioning. During the open house event, attendees will have the opportunity to win

Average Riverside County Gas Price Rises for 14th Time in 15 Days

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Riverside County rose Thursday for the 14th time in 15 days, increasing eight-tenths of a cent to $4.853, its highest amount since April 20. The average price has risen 10.1 cents over the past 15 days, including 1 cent Wednesday, according to figures from the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. It rose five consecutive days, dropped a half-cent May 23 and resumed increasing May 24. The average price is 7.4 cents more than one week ago and 3.1 cents higher than one month ago but $1.21 less than one year ago. It has dropped $1.52 since rising to a record $6.373 on Oct. 5. The increases are expected to continue because of refinery issues, according to Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, which provides real-time gas price information from more than 150,000 stations. The national average price dropped two-tenths of a cent to $3.574 after back-to-back decreases of three-tenths of a cent. It is unchanged from one week ago, 3.6 cents less than one month ago