A 21-year-old Las Vegas man accused of stabbing a co-worker several times inside an Airbnb rental in Cathedral City re-entered a not guilty plea Wednesday and was ordered to return to court on Jan. 4 for a trial-readiness conference.
Francisco Michael Fisher, who remains in custody at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning in lieu of $1 million bail, faces up to 11 years to life in state prison if convicted as charged, according to prosecutors.
Following a preliminary hearing at the Larson Justice Center in Indio last month, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Charles Stafford ruled that prosecutors presented sufficient evidence for Fisher to proceed to trial on charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.
He was additionally held to answer on several sentence-enhancing allegations, including inflicting great bodily injury and using a weapon — a knife — during the commission of a felony.
Cathedral City police Officer Joseph Brooks testified he was sent to a home at 68355 Tachevah Road about 4:20 p.m. Jan. 21 to a report of a stabbing and encountered three men holding the defendant down on a bed.
Brooks said witnesses reported the group arrived the day before for a work-related conference. Fisher’s co-worker told police the defendant had been relatively new to the company, having only been employed for a few weeks at that point.
On the morning of the stabbing, one of the co-workers told police he awoke to hear the victim — identified only as “Vicente D.” in the criminal complaint — yelling “he’s trying to kill me!” in another room, according to Brooks. He testified that the witness said he ran to the location of the scuffle and saw the victim holding Fisher up against the wall, in a pool of blood, while the defendant held a knife.
No motive in the stabbing was disclosed.
According to the police department, the 20-year-old victim suffered stab wounds to the back, head and upper body. He was hospitalized with injuries that police described as serious, but his current status was unknown.
Police at the time also said another man suffered stab wounds while attempting to stop the initial assault, but no charges were filed related to that altercation.
Brooks additionally testified they found a bloody knife at the scene.
The defendant was found mentally competent to stand trial in September following a request by the defense to have him evaluated by a behavioral health specialist.
Fisher has no documented felony convictions, according to Riverside County court records.