A probationer accused of fatally shooting a 25-year-old Home Gardens man in a gang-related attack must stand trial for first-degree murder and other offenses, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Eric Chaparro, 21, of Corona was arrested in August following a months-long Riverside County sheriff’s investigation into the slaying of Antonio Anaya.
After a preliminary hearing at the Riverside Hall of Justice, Superior Court Judge Bernard Schwartz found there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial on the murder count, as well as a special circumstance allegation of killing for the benefit of a criminal street gang and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.
Schwartz scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for April 21 and left the defendant held without bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta.
Chaparro is eligible for the death penalty if convicted, and prosecutors may announce during the next hearing whether they intend to seek capital punishment.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Richard Carroll, on the night of Jan. 26, 2020, Chaparro allegedly confronted Anaya in the 3700 block of Windsong Street, near Harlow Avenue, in Home Gardens.
During the confrontation, Chaparro allegedly pulled a handgun and opened fire, shooting Anaya several times, then fleeing in a vehicle, investigators said.
Other than gang-related, no other information was disclosed regarding possible reasons Chaparro allegedly targeted Anaya.
Anaya was taken to Riverside Community Hospital, where he died a short time later, Carroll said.
Detectives spent the ensuing months attempting to confirm the shooter’s identity, and by early August, Chaparro had been named as the alleged gunman, culminating in an arrest warrant being issued.
Chaparro was taken into custody without incident on Aug. 8.
According to court records, Chaparro has a misdemeanor conviction from February 2020 for driving under the influence, for which he was sentenced to three years probation.
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