Felon Accused in Fatal Home-Invasion Shooting Re-Enters Not Guilty Pleas

City News Service Pristine Villarreal

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 re- entered not guilty pleas to felony charges Wednesday.

Nathan Michael Alger, 22, of Desert Hot Springs was charged with one felony count each of murder, attempted murder, burglary, assault with a gun and shooting at a dwelling, according to court records. He also faced sentence- enhancing firearm allegations. He initially pleaded not guilty to the charges and denied the allegations Nov. 25, 2020.

At the end of a preliminary hearing June 14, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Dean Benjamini ruled that there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial for Alger on all charges except shooting at a dwelling. The sentence-enhancement allegations were dismissed.

Alger re-entered not guilty pleas to the remaining charges Wednesday at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.

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.

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 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 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.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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