A parolee accused of fatally shooting a 30-year-old Hemet man must stand trial for murder and other charges, a judge ruled Thursday.
Johnnie Joseph Paul Gatison, 36, of Perris was arrested in September following an investigation into the attack in the 200 block of North Elk Street, near Latham Avenue, in Hemet.
At the end of a preliminary hearing at the Banning Justice Center, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Timothy Hollenhorst found there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial on the murder count, as well as one count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and one count of committing a felony while on bail, with sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.
Hollenhorst scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for Nov. 13 and left Gatison’s bail set at $2 million. He’s being held at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta.
The defendant allegedly fatally shot the victim, identified in court documents only by the initials “K.P.,” during an unspecified dispute in the predawn hours of Sept. 16.
According to Hemet police Lt. Nathan Miller, patrol officers were sent to investigate a shots-fired call and located the victim on the street, suffering from a grave leg wound. He was taken to Hemet Valley Medical Center, where he died in the emergency room less than an hour later.
The nature of the dispute between the defendant and victim was not disclosed.
Miller said officers fanned out in an unsuccessful attempt to locate the shooter. However, after developing leads, they turned their attention to Gatison, who was stopped while driving through the Watts area of Los Angeles the next night. He was arrested without incident during the traffic stop.
Jail records indicate Gatison was arrested in August on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, but posted a $105,000 bond and was released a few days later. No details were available regarding the alleged offense.
According to court records, Gatison has prior convictions for spousal abuse, battery on a domestic partner, burglary and false imprisonment.
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