Alleged gang member pleads not guilty in California killings

Porterville, California –

A man suspected of having ties to a California prison gang pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the murder of six people, including a teenage mother and her baby, last month in a central California home linked to a rival gang, people said. the prosecutor said.

The rural Goshen, a community of about 3,000 people in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley, were devastated by the January 16th massacre.

Angel Uriarte, 35, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday and remains in custody without bail. He had been hospitalized in custody after being injured in a shootout with federal agents more than two weeks after his murder.

Uriarte’s co-defendant, 25-year-old Noah David Beard, pleaded not guilty earlier this month. Authorities say he shot 16-year-old Alyssa Paraz and her 10-month-old baby, Nicolas Paraz, in the back of the head.

Both have been charged with six counts of murder and other crimes and face the death penalty or life in prison without parole. The Tulare County District Attorney’s Office has yet to decide whether to seek the death penalty.

“The Tulea County sheriff and prosecutors have announced to anyone who will listen that this is a death penalty case, even though the governor has announced a moratorium on executions in California. By doing so, you’re already poisoning jurors,” Uriarte’s attorney said. Anthony Dell’Anno Sr. said in his email: “It sounds political to me.”

Due to various legal challenges and court decisions, no one has been executed in California for years. In 2019, Gavin Governor Newsom declared a moratorium on executions during his tenure.

Sheriff Mike Boudreau has publicly called on Newsom to restore the death penalty in both other cases where men and children are killed.

A lawyer for Beard declined to comment on Tuesday.

Defendants are scheduled to return to court on March 15.

Investigators believe the two suspects have ties to the Nuestra Familia prison gang. Uriarte was convicted of a gun assault linked to his gang on the street in 2015, and Beard was convicted of juvenile detention, prosecutors said in court filings.

Authorities have not released a reason for the shooting, but the Los Angeles Times reports that it came after years of strife between the two Goshen families.

Other victims were identified as: Rosa Palaz, 72 years old. Eladio Palaz Jr., 52 years old. Jennifer Annala, 49 years old. Marcos Palaz, 19 years old.

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