A convicted felony accused of driving drunk and triggering a Moreno Valley crash that fatally injured a 6-year-old relative made his initial court appearance Monday.
Salvador Joseph Barnes, 44, of Moreno Valley was arrested last Wednesday in connection with the Jan. 28 crash that killed the child, identified in court documents only as “A.B.” Prosecutors filed a second-degree murder charge against him late Friday afternoon.
The defendant appeared before Riverside County Superior Court Judge David Gunn, who appointed him a public defender and scheduled his arraignment for Feb. 22 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
Barnes is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.
He was previously arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of driving under the influence and child endangerment resulting in great bodily injury, then posted a $90,000 bond and was released.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Joe Narisco, the girl died from her injuries on Jan. 31. A murder warrant was obtained and served on Barnes after he was summoned to the sheriff’s Moreno Valley station.
According to Narisco, the crash happened shortly before 7 p.m. at the intersection of Heacock Street and Ironwood Avenue. Barnes lost control of his vehicle, which veered off of the road and plowed into a light standard, he said.
Deputies determined after questioning him that he was allegedly under the influence of alcohol, Narisco said.
The suspect and victim were taken to nearby Riverside University Medical Center, where Barnes was treated for minor injuries and released for booking, and where the child remained in the intensive care unit until her death.
Barnes has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.