A convicted felon accused of fatally shooting a 25-year-old man during an altercation at a Riverside hookah bar pleaded not guilty Thursday to murder and other charges.
Kevin Alfredo Hernandez of San Bernardino was arrested March 14, hours after he allegedly gunned down Jose Rondan, also of San Bernardino.
Along with murder, Hernandez is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.
He was arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gail O’Rane, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for July 8 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
Hernandez is being held on $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.
According to the Riverside Police Department, at 1 a.m. on March 14, Hernandez and Rondan were in the University Lounge at 1345 University Ave. when the two men got into a physical confrontation for reasons still under investigation.
“At some point during the altercation, the suspect produced a handgun and fatally shot the victim,” Officer Javier Cabrera said.
He said witnesses immediately called 911, and patrol officers swarmed the location. Paramedics attempted life-saving measures on Rondan, but he was pronounced dead at the scene less than 10 minutes later.
Cabrera alleged that Hernandez ran northbound toward Interstate 215 just prior to officers’ arrival, and a search was initiated.
The defendant was found a few hours later, blood spatter still on his shirt, in the area of University and Cranford Avenue, where he was taken into custody without incident, according to the police spokesman.
It was unclear whether Hernandez and Rondan were acquainted.
Court records do not specify Hernandez’s prior convictions, which were in another jurisdiction.