Teen Charged With Sky Valley Murder of Another Teen Pleads Not Guilty

City News Service Pristine Villarreal

INDIO (CNS) – An 18-year-old man alleged to have fired the gun that killed a 17-year-old boy in Sky Valley pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a murder charge.

The murder charge against Aexis Yahir Duran of Cathedral City includes a sentence-enhancing allegation of discharging a firearm causing great bodily injury, according to court records.

He pleaded not guilty Wednesday afternoon at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.

Deputies from the Palm Desert sheriff’s station responded at 6:18 a.m. Saturday to a call of gunshots in the 17000 block of Wide Canyon Road, according to Sgt. Ed Baeza of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

“When deputies arrived, they located evidence consistent with a shooting scene,” Baeza said. “Deputies were advised a male victim had been dropped off at Desert Regional Medical Center suffering from gunshot wounds who succumbed to his injuries despite medical care.”

The victim was identified in court documents as Adam Pineda. Baeza said the boy was a Desert Hot Springs resident.

Duran was subsequently identified as the suspect and arrested. He remains held at the John J. Benoit Detention Center in Indio on $1 million bail.

Anyone with information about the shooting was asked to call Central Homicide Investigator B. Cline at 951-955-2777 or Investigator Torres of the Palm Desert sheriff’s station at 760-836-1600.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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