Desert Hot Springs police announce four arrests in 2017 gang-related slaying

City News Service

Police Monday announced the arrests of four men accused in a fatal robbery more than three years ago in Desert Hot Springs.

Alycia Alexander, 25, suffered a fatal gunshot wound in October 2017 during a botched drug transaction at Wardman Park and died at the scene, according to the Desert Hot Springs Police Department.

Murder and attempted robbery charges were filed on May 4 against Dimetrius Eugene Lugo, 21; Shyrum Trequell Taylor, 24; and Barry Jermone Williams Jr., 32. Investigators said they believe the crime was gang-related.

The three men also face gang-related sentence enhancing allegations, along with a special circumstance allegation each of committing a murder during the commission of a robbery, which opens them up to possible death sentences if prosecutors pursue them.

A fourth man, whose name was not released because he was 17 years old at the time of the alleged shooting, was also arrested, but additional details about his criminal proceedings were unclear.

The shooting was reported about 10:15 p.m. on Oct. 19, 2017, at the park located at the corner of Eighth Street and Cactus Drive, police said.

According to an arrest declaration prepared by Detective Christopher Tooth, the victim drove two others to the park to meet Lugo and Taylor for a planned drug transaction. The defendants had planned to conduct a robbery rather than successfully complete the transaction, Tooth alleged.

While the group was speaking at the park, two other men allegedly approached Alexander’s vehicle, and Alexander sped off. One of the suspects fired an unspecified quantity of gunshots at the fleeing vehicle, which struck Alexander, killing her instantly, the declaration said.

Police did not specify who opened fire.

Following a multi-year investigation, the suspects were arrested at various times over the past few months.

Lugo was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona on March 7. He pleaded not guilty in Riverside County Superior Court on May 5. Taylor was taken into custody last Thursday in Beaumont and is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday. Williams was arrested last Friday, although his arraignment date was not available. All three men remain in custody on $1 million bail.

The fourth suspect was arrested in Arizona in April.

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