A convicted felon accused, with two others, in a gang-related shooting that left a man dead in Indio pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder and other charges.
Robert “Bubba” Ruiz, 30, of Indio was arrested Thursday on a felony warrant stemming from a criminal complaint filed last month by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.
Ruiz was arraigned before Superior Court Judge Alfonso Fernandez, who set the defendant’s bail at $1 million and scheduled a felony settlement conference for Aug. 14 at the Larson Justice Center in Indio. He remains jailed at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.
Ruiz is one of three people charged in the shooting death of Jason Diaz, who was found on the sidewalk in front of a home in the 85-100 block of Armata Street on June 24 with a knife in his hand, according to a declaration in support of arrest warrant filed by Indio Police Detective Justino Perez.
Diaz, whose age and place of residence were not released, was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the declaration, police responded about 10:30 p.m. to a shots-fired call. A witness told officers she saw two people “batter” the victim before hearing a gunshot. She said she then heard the man calling for help and saw one of the two people walk back to the victim, then heard a second gunshot.
Oscar “Sniper” Bustos, 28, and Itati Maribi Ceja, 23, were previously arrested in the case, officials said.
Bustos and Ruiz are both charged with murder and participating in a criminal street gang. They also face a special circumstance allegation of committing the murder for the benefit of a criminal street gang, which could make them eligible for the death penalty if prosecutors opt to pursue it.
Ruiz, who has previous felony convictions in Riverside County, including for spousal abuse and evading arrest, is additionally charged with being a convicted felon in the possession of a firearm.
Ceja is charged with murder, but not with a special circumstance allegation. She was out on bail in a misdemeanor petty theft case at the time of her arrest.
Bustos was previously convicted of burglary, being an active street gang member and other felonies.
Ceja and Bustos are scheduled to return to court Thursday for a felony settlement conference.
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