A Mecca man accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl in Desert Hot Springs, attempting another assault less than a mile from the first and burglarizing a homeless shelter must stand trial on five felony charges, a judge ruled Thursday.

Angel Lua, 21, allegedly got into the youngster’s home in the 67000 block of Two Bunch Palms Trail just before midnight last June 10 through an unlocked window and fled before officers arrived. An arrest warrant declaration alleges that investigators used fingerprints left at the crime scene to identify him as the suspect.


PALM SPRINGS (CNS) – An injured hiker was airlifted from a hiking trail Thursday in an unincorporated area near Palm Springs.

The injury was reported to firefighters at 7:40 a.m. on the Pacific Crest Trail at Snow Creek Road, south of Highway 111, said Tawny Cabral of the Riverside County Fire Department.


INDIO (CNS) – An Indio resident who allegedly dragged another woman through a Cathedral City restaurant after the victim refused to dance with her must stand trial on assault and battery charges, a judge ruled Thursday.

Ana Rocio Alcaraz-Mojica, 30, is accused of attacking the victim around 1:30 a.m. on April 15, 2017, at the Guatemala Grill.


INDIO (CNS) – A Desert Hot Springs resident charged in the shooting death of his roommate testified Thursday that the man assaulted and threatened to stab him after being asked to move out of the apartment.

Brian Keith Hernandez is charged with murder, assault with a gun and making criminal threats in the Feb. 28, 2017, death of 49-year-old Steven Nelson, who was shot in the back of the head at the Estancia Apartments, 13355 Verbena Drive. Nelson died the following day at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.


INDIO (CNS) – A Cathedral City man who allegedly amassed more than 2,000 sexually explicit images of underage children, which he’s accused of posting on social media websites, pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of possessing and distributing child pornography.

Kevin Lee Nichols, 56, was arrested Feb. 1 at his home in the 68100 block of Estilo Road, according to Cathedral City police Cmdr. Julio Luna.


DESERT HOT SPRINGS (CNS) – A man who allegedly beat and sexually assaulted his girlfriend shortly after being released from jail was in custody Thursday on suspicion of attempted murder.

Jorge Gilbert, 33, of Desert Hot Springs, was arrested March 29 after allegedly leading police on a pursuit while unlawfully possessing a gun and illegal fireworks, then was released at around 8 a.m. the following day on $10,000 bail.


MOUNTAIN CENTER (CNS) – A 40-year-old Jurupa Valley man was killed after losing control of his motorcycle on a curve east of Mountain Center and colliding head-on with a van, authorities said Thursday.

The fatality occurred about 5:15 p.m. Wednesday on state Route 74, near Ribbonwood Drive, between Mountain Center and Pinyon Pines, according to the California Highway Patrol.


RIVERSIDE (CNS) – A gang member who fired at police officers when they attempted to detain him near downtown Riverside, then hid out in a stranger’s home for hours before being flushed out, pleaded guilty Thursday to attempted murder.

Fidel Corona Jr., 21, admitted the felony count, as well as sentence-enhancing gun and gang activity allegations, when his case was called for a preliminary hearing at the Riverside Hall of Justice. In exchange for his admissions, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office dropped charges of committing a crime while on bail and carrying a loaded firearm without a permit.


INDIO (CNS) – A man who allegedly embezzled nearly $165,000 from the Palm Desert pawn shop he managed must stand trial on grand theft and burglary charges, a judge ruled Thursday.

John Doyle Ventling, 36, is accused of creating more than 200 false transactions for nonexistent customers at Rocky’s Pawn Shop, then pocketing the money over the course of 18 months.


HEMET (CNS) – A Hemet man was shot in the head Thursday, but the circumstances of how the wound was inflicted were unclear.

The victim, whose name was withheld, suffered the life-threatening injury about 12:15 p.m. at a residence in the 2800 block of Rafferty Road, just west of Gibbel Park.


MURRIETA (CNS) – A probationer who chased a Lake Elsinore boy to whom he exposed himself, then tangled with deputies as they attempted to arrest him, pleaded guilty Thursday to felony and misdemeanor charges.

Jordan Lopez, 19, was taken into custody last month after the confrontation with Riverside County sheriff’s deputies near the intersection of Heald Avenue and Spring Street.


PALM DESERT (CNS) – A documentary backed by the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, which chronicles the plight of the threatened desert tortoise, is set to premiere on KCET next week.

“Tortoise in Peril” will air on KCET’s Earth Focus on April 18, and on DirectTV and DISH networks beginning April 19.


RIVERSIDE (CNS) – A man accused of fatally stabbing his wife at their Moreno Valley apartment pleaded not guilty Thursday to a murder charge.

Jose Alexander Rivas, 36, was arraigned before Superior Court Judge David Gunn, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for May 15 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.

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