Felon Charged With Abducting Ex-Girlfriend in Palm Springs Pleads Not Guilty

Felon Charged With Abducting Ex-Girlfriend in Palm Springs Pleads Not Guilty

Taylor Martinez

BANNING (CNS) – A two-strike felon accused of abducting a former girlfriend at gunpoint in Palm Springs while out on bail on separate spousal allegations involving the same victim pleaded not guilty Wednesday to kidnapping and other felony charges.

Manuel Tamayo Valadez, 33, of Palm Springs was arrested last Thursday at the conclusion of a manhunt that lasted more than 24 hours stemming from the alleged kidnapping reported the day before, according to the Palm Springs Police Department.

Valadez, who’s being held at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, was arraigned before Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Prevost at the Banning Justice Center. Prevost set the defendant’s bail at $1 million and scheduled a felony settlement conference for Oct. 9.

Valadez is charged with one count each of kidnapping and making criminal threats, and two counts of spousal abuse, all felonies, as well as two misdemeanor charges of wilfully violating a protective order. He also faces five sentence-enhancing allegations of committing a crime while out on bail.

Some of the charges stem from the separate spousal abuse allegations that allegedly occurred Sept. 3 involving the same victim.

On Sept. 23 at about noon, the defendant allegedly forced the woman into a car at gunpoint from an unspecified address in Palm Springs. He then allegedly drove her around the Coachella Valley and at one point “fired one round from the weapon while threatening the victim,” police allege.

At some point, Valadez’s car broke down near the Costco in Palm Desert, where the victim was able to escape and call 911, police said.

Valadez ran off, and a manhunt ensued. Palm Springs police tracked him down to a house in the eastern Coachella Valley with the assistance of the Riverside County District Attorney’s Gang Impact Team, where he was arrested without incident on Thursday night, police said.

At the time of his most recent arrest, Valadez was on bail stemming from an arrest on Sept. 8 linked to the Sept. 3 incident in Palm Springs. He was arrested at that time on suspicion of spousal abuse and violating a domestic violence protective order. He was released later that day after making $50,000 bail, jail records show.

Valadez was convicted of two counts of robbery in 2013 in Riverside County, court records show. He also has a felony conviction for vehicle theft.

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