A Coachella woman accused of helping a convicted felon who allegedly gunned down a man near Indio five months ago was charged Monday with being an accessory after the fact.
Martha Perez Espinoza, 40, was arrested last Thursday and booked at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, where she’s being held in lieu of $1 million bail, according to Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Richard Carroll.
Ruben Corria Esquivel Jr., 31, of Coachella, was previously arrested and charged with the murder of Vincent Aispuro, 42.
Espinosa allegedly helped Esquivel avoid apprehension, but her specific actions were not specified in the criminal complaint. She is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.
Esquivel, who is being held in lieu of $1 million bail, previously pleaded not guilty to one count each of murder and of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. He is also facing a sentence-enhancing allegation of discharging a firearm causing great bodily injury.
According to the sheriff’s department, deputies responded about midnight Feb. 21 to a call reporting an assault with a deadly weapon in the 47600 block of Van Buren Street in an unincorporated area near Indio and found the gunshot victim, who died at a nearby hospital.
Homicide investigators began working the case, and through unspecified leads eventually identified Esquivel as the suspect. He was tracked down earlier this month to a home in the 88000 block of Avenue 70 near Mecca, where he holed up for several hours before surrendering.
A motive for the killing has not been disclosed.
Esquivel has documented felony convictions in Riverside County that include attempted carjacking and three parole violations, court records show. He was also convicted in 2012 of a misdemeanor for participating in a criminal street gang.
At the time of her arrest, Espinoza was the subject of a warrant for allegedly violating her three-year probation term on a felony identity theft conviction. Jail records indicate she was arrested at a probation office in Indio.
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