A San Diego man who’s accused, along with an Indio woman, in the killing of a Victorville resident whose body was dumped on a Coachella roadside opted for a lawyer Monday after several months of representing himself.
Alexis Daniel Rosas’ decision to seek legal counsel resulted in the postponement of a scheduled preliminary hearing for Rosas and co-defendant Maury Duarte.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Burke Strunsky agreed to give Rosas, 24, time to find legal representation and ordered both defendants to return to court on Dec. 27 for a felony settlement conference.
Prosecutors allege Rosas killed Makayla Jean Massey, 21*, to prevent her from testifying about an unspecified crime, and that Duarte, 28, harbored and aided him. Both are charged with murder.
Massey’s body was discovered in the shoulder of Avenue 53 between Monroe Street and Jackson Street around 6 a.m. June 25. Both defendants were arrested June 30 on Avenue 42 in Indio, jail records show.
Rosas, who faces a sentence enhancing allegation of the personal use of a firearm, is additionally charged with the attempted murder of a man identified only by his first name in the criminal complaint. The document also does not list the date or any other details of that crime.
Court records show Rosas is also currently facing misdemeanor charges of obstructing an officer, making counterfeit money and identity theft in a separate case.
He is being held in the Indio jail without bail, and Duarte is being housed in the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning in lieu of $1 million bail.
*Correction: Family of Makayla Massey have reached out about the victim’s age, which is 18.