The second of two reputed gang members jailed in the execution-style killings of six people in a central California farming town last month, including an infant and his mother, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to murder and weapons charges.
Angel Joseph Uriarte, 35, entered his plea and was ordered to remain held without bail during an arraignment by video feed in Tulare County Superior Court, according to Stuart Anderson, a spokesman for county prosecutors.
The arraignment of Uriarte, who was wounded in a shootout with federal agents at the time of his arrest and had been in custody under medical care, came two weeks after his co-defendant, Noah David Beard, 25, pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Both men were taken into custody on Feb. 3.
The two are accused of fatally shooting six people - five of them members of a single family - during a pre-dawn Jan. 16 home invasion in the agricultural community of Goshen, about 35 miles southeast of Fresno. Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux has called the attack a targeted massacre.
Most of the victims were shot in the head, including a 72-year-old grandmother, Rosa Parraz, found kneeling at her bedside, and 10-month-old Nycholas Parraz and his 16-year-old mother, Alissa Parraz.
The precise motive remains under investigation. But authorities have said the killings appear gang-related.
Boudreaux has said both defendants are members of the Nortenos, a primarily Mexican-American gang network affiliated with a prison-based criminal organization known as Nuestra Familia, Spanish for “our family.” He said two members of the Parraz family belonged to the rival Surenos, associated with a prison gang network known as the Mexican Mafia.
The Goshen murders came one week before the first of two unrelated mass shootings in California that left 11 people dead in the Los Angeles suburb of Monterey Park and seven more slain in the San Francisco Bay-area coastal town of Half Moon Bay.
Uriarte and Beard are both charged with six counts of first-degree murder and a host of “special allegations,” including gang-related offenses, that can lead to tougher sentencing if they are convicted. Each also is charged with a single count of unlawful possession of a firearm.
California massacres heighten immigrants’ fears of gun violence in USAmerica was supposed to be a place of safety for Jose Romero when he arrived some two years ago to work on a California farm alongside other ... World News
Pair of gang members arrested in California massacre of six, including babyTwo reputed gang members were arrested on Friday and charged with murdering six people, including an infant boy and his teenage mother, in a central ... World News
California farm mass shooting suspect pleads not guiltyThe man accused of killing seven people and injuring another by opening fire on mushroom farms in northern California pleaded not guilty on Thursday, ... World News