Murder and robbery charges were filed Monday against a convicted felon accused of inflicting fatal head injuries on a 60-year-old Menifee resident.

Richard Adam Lopez, 32, also faces a special circumstance allegation of committing a murder during the commission of a robbery, making him eligible for a potential death sentence. He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Tuesday at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.

Lopez, who allegedly beat Jose Gonzalez on the night of May 20 in the 27000 block of Highway 74 in Menifee, was arrested last Thursday in Perris on an arrest warrant issued earlier this month.

Deputies were called to investigate reports of a man down near the highway and discovered Gonzalez unconscious but clinging to life. He was taken to a regional trauma center, where he lingered in a coma until June 1, according to Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Rick Espinoza.

He said Lopez was identified after a two-week investigation by the sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit. The evidence that allegedly pointed to the suspect as the assailant was not disclosed.

Lopez, who has several documented felony convictions in Riverside County, including burglary, vehicle theft and receiving stolen property, is being held without bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.

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