A Dec. 20 trial date was set Friday for two reputed gang members accused in the drug-related robbery and killing of a Palm Desert man on Christmas Day 2016.
Anthony Garcia of Indio and Roger Rodriguez of La Quinta, both 23, are charged with murder, with special circumstance allegations of committing the killing in the commission of a robbery and while being active gang members.
Court records show the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office is not seeking the death penalty.
A co-defendant, Alejandro Zendejas, 25, of Indio, had been facing a murder charge, as well, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter in October 2018. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 7.
Sheriff’s deputies found 24-year-old Skyler Siva wounded but still alive just after 4 p.m. Christmas Day at his home in the 43400 block of Illinois Avenue. He was seated on his couch with at least one gunshot wound and was taken to a hospital, where he died less than an hour later, according to an arrest warrant declaration.
According to court records, the defendants were at Siva’s home that day to purchase marijuana from him. He was allegedly robbed and shot by Rodriguez and Garcia, with Zendejas acting as the getaway driver, according to the declaration.
Rodriguez was spotted by witnesses running from the home, the declaration states, and was arrested three days later in Palm Desert.
Garcia and Zendejas allegedly fled from the scene in Rodriguez’s car. Garcia was arrested on Jan. 4, 2017, in La Quinta, while Zendejas was taken into custody on Jan. 24, 2017, in Palm Desert.
Garcia and Rodriguez are being held without bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta. Zendejas is being held at the Indio jail, also without bail.
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