A documented gang member accused of gunning down a 25-year-old Home Gardens man pleaded not guilty Thursday to first-degree murder and other offenses.

Eric Chaparro, 31, of Corona was arrested on Aug. 8 following a months-long Riverside County sheriff’s investigation into the slaying of Antonio Anaya.

Along with murder, Chaparro is charged with a special circumstance allegation of killing for the benefit of a criminal street gang, as well as sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.

Chaparro was arraigned before Superior Court Judge Bambi Moyer, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for Oct. 7 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.

Chaparro is being held without bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta.

According to sheriff’s Sgt. Richard Carroll, on the night of Jan. 26, Chaparro allegedly confronted Anaya in the 3700 block of Windsong Street, near Harlow Avenue, in Home Gardens.

During the confrontation, Chaparro allegedly pulled a handgun and opened fire, shooting the victim several times, then fleeing in a vehicle, investigators said.

Other than gang related, no other information was disclosed regarding possible reasons for the alleged attack.

Carroll said that Anaya was taken to a Riverside trauma center, where he died a short time later.

Detectives spent the ensuing months attempting to confirm the shooter’s identity, and by early August, Chaparro had been named as the alleged gunman, culminating in an arrest warrant being issued.

Chaparro was taken into custody without incident on Aug. 8.

According to court records, Chaparro has a prior misdemeanor conviction for driving under the influence.

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