A man who allegedly shot and killed another man in Blythe as retaliation for a drug-related robbery pleaded not guilty to a murder charge Friday.

Jorge Ernesto Cazares, 29, is accused in the Dec. 1, 2012 slaying of Terrence Hughes, 24, who was shot in the back near 251 N. Palm Drive. Hughes, who was gunned down in the middle of a street, died later that day at Palo Verde Hospital in Blythe.

One day prior to the shooting, Hughes robbed Cazares at gunpoint and stole methamphetamine from him, according to witness accounts detailed in an arrest warrant declaration.

Following Hughes’ death, a warrant was issued for Cazares’ arrest. Police said they believed he had fled Blythe and was in El Centro or Mexicali.

Authorities did not disclose when or where Cazares was apprehended. Jail records show he was transported by Riverside County officials Monday from an unspecified Imperial County jail to the Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta.

Cazares, who’s being held in lieu of $1 million bail, is slated to return to court Aug. 14 for a felony settlement conference.

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