Sentencing is scheduled Friday for an admitted gang member who pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the drug-related robbery and killing of a Palm Desert man on Christmas Day 2016.
Alejandro Zendejas, 27, of Indio was arrested along with Anthony Garcia of Indio and Roger Rodriguez of La Quinta, both 24, in the shooting death of 24-year-old Skyler Siva.
Zendejas had been facing a murder charge, along with his alleged accomplices, but he pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in October 2018 as part of a deal with prosecutors. He also admitted a street gang sentence-enhancing allegation.
Garcia and Rodriguez are charged with murder and two counts of robbery. They also face two special circumstance allegations of committing the killing in the commission of a robbery and while being active gang members, which could have opened them up to the death penalty had prosecutors pursued it.
Deputies found the victim wounded but still alive just after 4 p.m. on Dec. 25, 2016, in the 43400 block of Illinois Avenue in Palm Desert, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
He was seated on his couch with at least one gunshot wound and was taken to a hospital, where he died less than an hour later, according to court papers.
The defendants were allegedly at Siva’s home that day to purchase marijuana from him. He was allegedly robbed and shot by Rodriguez and Garcia, with Zendejas acting as the getaway driver, the papers say.
Rodriguez was spotted by witnesses running from the home, and was arrested three days later in Palm Desert, according to court documents.
Garcia and Zendejas allegedly fled from the scene in Rodriguez’s car. Garcia was arrested on Jan. 4, 2017, in La Quinta, while Zendejas was taken into custody on Jan. 24, 2017, in Palm Desert.
Zendejas has felony conviction for assault. Rodriguez has a felony convictions for burglary and assault with a deadly weapon.
Garcia, meanwhile, has no documented felony convictions, but he does have an unresolved robbery case
All three defendants remain in custody without bail.