Two people accused of helping a 17-year-old boy escape after he allegedly wounded a passerby during a suspected gang-related drive-by shooting in Indio pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony charges.
Jesse Hernandez, 18, and Monica Arriaga, 21, were arrested Thursday in San Diego County, along with the alleged shooter, in connection with the shooting last month near K&A Market at 82-814 Avenue 44.
Hernandez and Arriaga were arraigned before Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Prevost at the Banning Justice Center, who scheduled an Oct. 2 felony settlement conference.
They are charged with one count each of being an accessory after the fact.
Hernandez, a convicted felon, also faces a sentence-enhancing allegation that he helped the shooter escape capture for the benefit of a criminal street gang. Additionally, he faces felony charges of possessing a firearm by a juvenile ward who is under 30 years old and participating in a criminal street gang.
The 17-year-old boy was expected to be charged with attempted murder, although specifics were not available because he is a minor.
According to Indio Police Department spokesman Ben Guitron, a married couple was passing the market at about 8:30 p.m. Aug. 19 and heard somebody yelling before shots rang out. Bullets struck the couple’s vehicle, and one hit the woman in the passenger seat. She was rushed to an area hospital and survived, Guitron said. Their names were not released.
Guitron said at the time that the shooting was thought to be gang-related and involving people who “have been involved in other shootings in the area.”
The defendants were eventually tracked to Escondido, where they were taken into custody and transported back to Riverside County.
Both Hernandez and Arriaga remain behind bars at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning. Hernandez is being held on $1 million bail, and Arriaga in lieu of $750,000 bail.