Two reputed gang members with felony convictions accused of robbing a pool cleaner at gunpoint at a Cathedral City home must stand trial on multiple felony charges, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Arturo Colin, 23, is accused of robbing the 49-year-old victim of his wallet and cellphone at a home in the 28000 block of Avenida Diosa on July 31, 2018, with Joseph Palomino, 28, allegedly acting as the getaway driver.
Following a preliminary hearing that spanned two days at the Banning Justice Center, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Johnetta Anderson ruled prosecutors presented sufficient evidence for the Sky Valley residents to proceed to trial on one count each of robbery, along with sentence-enhancing allegations of participating in a criminal street gang.
Anderson additionally held Palomino to answer on a charge of being a felon in possession of ammunition, and misdemeanor counts of receiving stolen property and petty theft, and Colin on three gun-related felonies.
Anderson kept the defendants’ bail at $1 million, and scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for Dec. 11 at the Larson Justice Center in Indio. Both men remain in custody at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.
Cathedral City Police Department Detective Todd Brothers testified that the victim reported one man sparked a conversation about pool services while the victim was in the backyard of a home cleaning the pool.
After beckoning the victim toward the front of the home, the man — later identified as Colin — allegedly pulled out a gun and robbed the man of his belongings before jumping into the passenger seat of a nearby gold-colored Cadillac sedan that subsequently sped away.
The victim’s cellphone was tracked to the area near the Auto Zone at 12660 Palm Drive in Desert Hot Springs, where police spotted the suspect vehicle, Brothers testified.
Palomino was taken into custody as he exited the business, while Colin was arrested inside the store, where he allegedly tried to hide a .22-caliber handgun, according to police.
Officer Jesus Borrego testified the victim’s wallet was found in the possession of Palomino, while Colin allegedly had the victim’s cellphone.
The defendants are allegedly members of two separate yet allied Coachella Valley street gangs, one based in Indio and the other in Desert Hot Springs, according to prosecutors.
Both men have prior felony convictions in Riverside County.
Palomino was convicted of possessing drugs/alcohol while in jail, while Colin was convicted of possessing a controlled substance while armed.
While in custody in the burglary case, Palomino was charged with two separate felonies alleging he possessed drugs/alcohol while in jail. Both cases remain unresolved.
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