A convicted felon accused of fatally shooting a 39-year-old San Jacinto man in his home pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder and other charges.

Melvin Mario James Landry, 38, of San Jacinto was arrested Thursday for the death of Gilbert Wah.

Along with the murder count, Landry is charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.

He was arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Timothy Hollenhorst, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for Aug. 27 at the Banning Justice Center.

The defendant is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the nearby Smith Correctional Facility.

According to sheriff’s Sgt. Ken Thurm, at 3:30 a.m. Thursday, Landry and Wah were involved in an unspecified confrontation at the latter’s home in the 800 block of Camino Los Banos, near Shaver Street.

Thurm alleged that Landry pulled a handgun and shot the victim in the upper body.

The sergeant said the victim’s relatives called 911 and tried performing CPR.

“Deputies assisted family members with life-saving measures,” he said. “Paramedics arrived shortly after and pronounced Wah deceased at the scene.”

According to Thurm, Landry was quickly identified as the alleged perpetrator, and as a search was about to get underway, “he returned to the scene and surrendered to deputies.”

“At this time, a motive has not been established,” Thurm said.

It was unclear how the victim and defendant knew one another.

According to court records, Landry has a prior misdemeanor conviction in Riverside County for driving under the influence. He has a felony conviction in another jurisdiction, but no information was available on that case.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.