A convicted felon who allegedly joined two men in a home invasion robbery in La Cresta, culminating in a gunfight during which an assailant and a victim were killed, was charged Thursday with armed robbery and other offenses.
Dong Yang, 33, was arrested in Temple City on Saturday following a Riverside County sheriff’s investigation that pointed to him as the alleged driver during and after the Dec. 26 break-in.
Along with the robbery count, Yang is charged with first-degree burglary and a sentence-enhancing gun use allegation.
He’s being held in lieu of $150,000 bail at the Byrd Detention Center and is slated to make his initial court appearance Friday at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.
His alleged cohort, 34-year-old Michael Tong Shun Zhang, is charged with two counts of murder and one count each of attempted murder and burglary. He’s being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning and is set to be arraigned on Feb. 18.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Ben Ramirez, Yang, Zhang and 38-year-old Wang Lin allegedly went to a residence in the 37000 block of Calle de Lobo, just west of Murrieta, about 9 a.m. on the day after Christmas with the intent of robbing the occupants. However, after gaining access to the property, the trio were confronted by at least one victim armed with a handgun, Ramirez said.
A brief gun battle ensued in which Lin was killed, along with 45-year-old Alejandro Camacho of Bullhead City, Arizona, who was staying at the home, according to the sergeant.
Zhang was wounded, along with an occupant of the property. Both were taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar for treatment. Two additional men inside the house were not hurt.
Ramirez alleged that Yang sped away before deputies reached the location. He was tracked down after evidence collected at the scene and elsewhere confirmed his alleged involvement, the sergeant said.
There was no word on why the two-story home was targeted.
According to court records, Zhang has a prior felony conviction for burglary. The murder charges against him include the death of his alleged co-conspirator, Lin. Under California law, anytime an accomplice is killed in a crime, the surviving defendant can be held responsible for the death.
Yang’s felony conviction was in another jurisdiction and no details were available.