Gang Member Accused in Double Shooting in Thermal Pleads Not Guilty

City News Service

A gang member accused of shooting two people who were seated in a car in Thermal pleaded not guilty Tuesday to attempted murder and other felony charges.

Jesse Jordan Diaz, 30, of Thermal was arrested on a warrant Thursday after being charged in the May 25 shotgun shooting that left two people wounded in the unincorporated community near the Salton Sea.

Diaz was arraigned at the Banning Justice Center before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Alfonso Fernandez, who set the defendant’s bail at $2 million and scheduled a felony settlement conference for July 29 at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.

He remains held at the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio.

He is accused with Victor Manuel Diaz, 32, who previously pleaded not guilty in the case and remains in custody on $1 million bail.

A motive for the shooting was not released, and the victims were identified only as two adults.

The severity of their injuries was not disclosed.

Both defendants are charged with two counts each of attempted murder and assault with a gun, along with one count of shooting at a vehicle.

Jesse Diaz, who additionally faces gun and great bodily injury sentence-enhancing allegations, is a documented gang member, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Court records show he has a prior felony conviction for robbery.

Victor Diaz has no documented felony convictions in Riverside County, though he was in the midst of a three-year probation term stemming from a misdemeanor vehicle theft conviction from last year at the time of his most recent arrest, court records show.

 

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