A man accused of fatally shooting someone at the site of an illegal gambling operation in Desert Hot Springs was in custody Friday, while a second man awaiting trial for allegedly shooting at a Desert Hot Springs police officer was charged with being an accessory to the killing.
James Angle, 43, is accused in the Dec. 11, 2018, shooting of Joseph Gimino in the 66500 block of Pierson Boulevard. Gimino was hospitalized with what was initially believed to be a non-life threatening shotgun wound to his right arm, but he died on Dec. 14, due to unspecified “complications,” according to an arrest warrant declaration.
Court documents state that a Desert Hot Springs detective interviewed Gimino in the hospital, during which the victim said he sold Angle a generator. Angle later allegedly claimed that Gimino originally stole the generator from him, then resold it to him, and demanded that Gimino refund his money, according to the declaration.
Angle later confronted Gimino outside a Pierson Boulevard business, and was captured on surveillance footage slashing the tires on Gimino’s vehicle, the declaration states.
Gimino is then seen exiting the business and chasing Angle with a firearm, after which Angle runs towards the “passenger side of an awaiting nearby vehicle.” Gimino is shot seconds later and the car speeds away, according to the declaration.
A second suspect, Raymond Villegas Jr., 26, was allegedly inside the business when the shooting occurred.
The declaration states that “seconds after the shooting,” Villegas is seen on surveillance footage exiting the business and picking up Gimino’s gun as the victim was laying in the street. He then allegedly entered the car in which Angle fled, which drives off.
Angle was arrested Thursday afternoon on Bob Hope Drive in Rancho Mirage, according to county jail records.
He was charged that same day with murder and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, while Villegas was charged with being an accessory after the fact and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. The men tentatively are expected to appear in court Monday afternoon.
Details on the connection between the men were unavailable.
Villegas has been in custody since Dec. 22, 2018, for allegedly firing at least one gunshot at a Desert Hot Springs officer who spotted Villegas in a vehicle “thought to be involved in a homicide,” Sgt. Phil Weigle said.
The shooting triggered a pursuit that ended with Villegas crashing his vehicle in the desert south of Two Bunch Palms Trail and West Drive, then eluding capture on foot, according to the sergeant.
Villegas was captured the following day elsewhere in the city, and subsequently was charged with attempted murder on a peace officer, evading arrest and weapons possession charges.
He pleaded not guilty to all counts late last month.
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