INDIO (CNS) – A felon suspected in a Desert Hot Springs residential break-in in which his accomplice was fatally shot by an occupant of the home must stand trial on murder, a judge ruled Wednesday.
In addition to murder, Nathan Michael Alger, 22, of Desert Hot Springs is charged with one felony count each of attempted murder, burglary, assault with a gun and shooting at a dwelling, according to court records. He additionally faces sentence-enhancing firearm allegations.
Prosecutors charged Alger with murder under the state’s felony murder rule, under which a surviving conspirator can be held responsible when an accomplice is killed during the commission of a felony.
At the end of a preliminary hearing at the Larson Justice Center in Indio, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Dean Benjamini ruled that there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial for Alger on all charges and the sentence-enhancing allegations, according to court records.
A post-preliminary hearing arraignment was set for June 28.
Alger was arrested Nov. 19, 2020, a day after he and another man allegedly carried out the home invasion in the 13700 block of Hacienda Heights Drive while at least one of them was armed.
According to Desert Hot Springs Police Department Chief Steven Shaw, officers were sent to the home at about 10:40 p.m. Nov. 18, 2020, in response to a reported shooting and found the victim, identified only in court papers as “Presley B.,” suffering from at least one gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
It’s alleged that the home invasion turned deadly when a man inside the home opened fire, killing Alger’s accomplice. Alger fled the scene and was arrested the next day in Palm Springs, authorities said.
The occupant of the home who gunned down the suspected intruder will not face charges.
Alger has a felony conviction for burglary, court records show.
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