One of three men accused of gunning down a Jurupa Valley High School student in a gang-related attack pleaded not guilty Monday to murder and other charges.
Adrian Miranda Alvarez, 21, was arrested in August along with 22-year-old Eric “Mack” Guzman and 25-year-old Juan Daniel Miranda — all of Jurupa Valley — for the 2019 slaying of 19-year-old Walter Macklin.
In addition to the murder count, the men are charged with a special circumstance allegation of killing for the benefit of a criminal street gang, which wasn’t identified in court documents. Alvarez is additionally charged with sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.
He was arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge David Gunn, who scheduled a preliminary hearing for March 4 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
Alvarez is being held without bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside. Guzman, who is slated to be arraigned on Dec. 3, is being held without bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta, while Ponce is being held without bail at the same facility and is scheduled to appear with Alvarez on March 4.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Brosche, Macklin was in the 6000 block of Smith Avenue, near Holmes Avenue, in Jurupa Valley when the defendants allegedly confronted him and opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun on the afternoon of Jan. 4, 2019.
The exact reasons for targeting the victim were not disclosed.
Macklin, who was in his senior year at Jurupa Valley High, died at the scene.
Brosche said the shooters fled, and over the ensuing 18 months, Central Homicide Unit detectives ultimately garnered sufficient evidence to present a case to the District Attorney’s Office seeking charges against the trio.
The criminal complaint did not list prior adult convictions for any of the men.
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