A 20-year-old man accused of shooting another man with an assault rifle in Desert Hot Springs pleaded not guilty Thursday to an attempted murder charge.
Manual Rivera-Villa of Desert Hot Springs allegedly shot the man on April 9 in the 66700 block of First Street, although a motive for the crime and circumstances surrounding the defendant’s arrest remain unclear.
Rivera-Villa also denied a sentence-enhancing allegation of discharging a firearm causing great bodily injury when he appeared before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Dean Benjamini via video conference on Thursday afternoon, who set bail at $1 million and scheduled an August 12 court date for a felony settlement conference.
According to the Desert Hot Springs Police Department, police arrived about 9 p.m. and found a man, whose name was not disclosed, suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment, but the severity of his injuries was not disclosed.
Detectives identified Rivera-Villa as a suspect in the crime and arrested him the day after the shooting in the 12400 block of Jasmine Drive in unincorporated Riverside County with assistance from the District Attorney’s Office Gang Impact Team.
Authorities did not specify if the defendant was a suspected gang member.
Rivera-Villa remains in custody at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.
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