INDIO (CNS) – Three suspects arrested in the death of a man found inside a burning vehicle in Thermal were ordered Wednesday to stand trial on felony charges.
Hector Ramiro Yamanaka Ruiz, 44, of Coachella, was charged with one felony count each of murder, arson on property, and having a fire explosive, according to court records. He also faces a misdemeanor count of violating a domestic violence court order.
Ireneo Dominguez Lagunes, 57, was charged with committing arson on a property, having a fire explosive and being an accessory aid, according to court records. Daisy Cabrera Gil, 34, also of Coachella, was charged with being an accessory to the crime.
The charges stem from the death of Jesus M. Hernandez, 35, whose body was found around 2 a.m. July 14 inside a burning car in the 83000 block of Avenue 60 in Thermal.
During a preliminary hearing Wednesday at the Larson Justice Center in Indio, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Daniel Cline said Gil told him during an interview that she got into an argument with Ruiz, whom she was dating and living with at the time, and at some point kicked him out of their residence.
While Ruiz was out of the residence, Gil got a message from Hernandez asking if she had anything to smoke and when she said yes, he went over, Cline said. They were allegedly smoking methamphetamine and began playing a dart game in the living room area when Ruiz entered the room with a firearm.
Gil said Hernandez motioned for Ruiz to calm down and backed up away from him, but Ruiz allegedly shot him six to seven times, according to Cline. It’s alleged that during a second interview, Gil said Hernandez reached for his gun on a table before Ruiz shot him, two to three times at firs, and around three more times again after he fell back to the ground.
During an interview with Ruiz, he allegedly said that when she kicked him out, he knew she was going to invite another man to the house, so he left a window open in one of the bedrooms and went to his friend’s house to retrieve a firearm, Cline said. He allegedly went inside the home, heard the two wagering sex acts in the dart game, got angry, and walked into the room asking “What’s going on here?” before shooting Hernandez six times.
Ruiz then allegedly said Gil yelled at him and told him they needed to do something about what happened, according to Cline. Ruiz allegedly wanted to notify law enforcement but Gil advised against it due to her criminal record.
Gil was subsequently dropped off at someone’s house and Ruiz allegedly went to Lagunes for help, Cline said. It’s alleged that the two got gas and, with one of them driving Hernandez’s vehicle and the other driving Gil’s vehicle, they drove the vehicle into the dirt area where it was found.
The vehicle was then set on fire and they drove off to a gas station before going to pick up Gil again, according to Cline. The scene was then allegedly cleaned with mops and bleach, which were discarded at a dumpster of some apartments in Coachella.
Following the preliminary hearing, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Stafford Hawkins ruled that there was sufficient evidence to hold all defendants to answer on their respective charges.
A post-preliminary hearing arraignment was set for July 12.
All three suspects were arrested in 2022 in Coachella.
Yamanaka was arrested July 29, 2022, near Mountain Drive and was being held without bail at the Southwest Detention Center, according to inmate records. Gil was arrested around the same time that day near Mazatlan Drive and was being held on $500,000 bail at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning. Lagunes was arrested Aug. 1, 2022, at noon near Valencia Lane and was being held on $1 million bail.
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