An Oct. 30 trial date was confirmed Tuesday for one of two suspected gang members charged with committing a string of shootings and assaults in Indio, which included firing at and pistol-whipping adult and juvenile victims.
Christian “Lil’ Downer” Yanez, 22, and Joel Vargas III, 23, were arrested last year for crimes that Indio police allege occurred between Jan. 7-14, 2018.
During a trial readiness conference at the Larson Justice Center, the prosecution and Yanez’s attorney agreed to move forward with the October trial date.
Vargas has a trial-readiness conference set for the same day.
The men are accused of targeting several male victims and attacking them to advance the reputation of their street gang. None of the victims had gang ties, according to court documents.
Yanez allegedly threatened to kill several victims, shot at one person while the victim was at work and pistol-whipped a juvenile victim.
Vargas’ alleged role in the attacks was not disclosed, but investigators said he was present during each of the incidents.
Officers recovered two firearms during their arrests, “along with evidence linking them to the crimes,” according to the Indio Police Department.
Both men pleaded not guilty to various gun- and gang-related charges last year.
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