A 20-year-old man accused of intentionally running over and killing two pedestrians in a Moreno Valley hit-and-run pleaded not guilty Friday to murder and other charges.
Edgar Ivan Garcia of Mead Valley was arrested last month after allegedly killing 29-year-old Junior Rafael Gonzalez and 39-year-old Pedro Cortes Rodriguez.
Along with two counts of first-degree murder, Garcia is charged with hit-and-run resulting in death and a special-circumstance allegation of taking multiple lives.
He was arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge David Gunn, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for Jan. 10 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
The defendant is being held without bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Rick Espinoza, in the predawn hours of Oct. 18, Gonzalez and Rodriguez were walking through the parking lot of a business in the 24000 block of Alessandro Boulevard, near Heacock Street, when Garcia allegedly drove into them with his pickup.
A possible motive for the attack was not disclosed.
After impacting the victims, Garcia allegedly fled the area, Espinoza said.
Paramedics arrived within a few minutes and pronounced Gonzalez dead at the scene. Rodriguez was taken to nearby Riverside University Medical Center, where he lingered in a coma for nine days before succumbing to his injuries.
Detectives soon developed leads pointing to Garcia as the alleged assailant, Espinoza said, without elaborating. The defendant was stopped and arrested without a struggle in the area of Day and Nance streets Oct. 22.
He has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.