A felon accused of fatally shooting a Riverside resident in a Jurupa Valley canal and trying to shoot another man must stand trial on first-degree murder and other charges, a judge ruled Friday.
Shaun Daniel Tara, 37, of Jurupa Valley is accused of gunning down 32-year-old Jeremy Amerson last Aug. 17.
After a preliminary hearing at the Riverside Hall of Justice, Riverside County Superior Court Judge O.G. Magno found there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial on murder and attempted murder counts. The defendant also faces a special circumstance allegation of killing a witness to a crime and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.
Magno scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for April 14 and left Tara held without bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Ben Ramirez, the defendant allegedly confronted the victim in an empty flood control channel that crosses underneath Van Buren Boulevard, just west of Bellegrave Avenue, and shot him multiple times about 2:40 a.m.
Witnesses called 911, and patrol deputies reached the victim a few minutes later and started CPR, but Amerson died before paramedics could transport him to a hospital.
Another man at the location was also allegedly targeted by the defendant, but that victim, whose identity was not disclosed, was not struck by gunfire.
Tara was soon identified as the alleged shooter, and a search was initiated, ultimately leading to Pomona, where he was taken into custody without a struggle in the middle of the night last Aug. 27 near the intersection of Gary Street and Holt Avenue.
The prior incident that led Tara to allegedly plot and carry out the killing was not detailed in court papers, nor disclosed by investigators.
According to court records, the defendant has prior convictions for assault with a gun, being under the influence of a controlled substance, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon.