Two brothers accused of holding a man against his will and beating him with a wooden paddle over several days in Cathedral City pleaded not guilty Friday to multiple felony charges.
Carlos Jose Espinoza, 30, and Eduardo Luis Espinoza, 32, both of Cathedral City, were arrested Tuesday.
Both men were arraigned before at the Banning Justice Center before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Alfonso Fernandez, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for June 15 at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.
The judge also increased bail from $135,000 to $1 million for both defendants, who remain in custody.
They are each charged with one count of false imprisonment and two counts of assault on a person causing great bodily injury, along with sentence-enhancing allegations of using a weapon — a wooden paddle — during the commission of a felony.
Eduardo Espinoza is additionally charged with one felony count each of robbery, criminal threats and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
Police dispatchers received a 911 call Tuesday from a 36-year-old resident who said he had been “beaten, zip-tied and held against his will for days,” according to the Cathedral City Police Department.
The victim — identified in court papers only as “Matthew H.” — led officers to the 37000 block of Bankside Drive, where unspecified evidence was collected that backed up his claim, according to Sgt. Larry Sanfillippo.
The two suspects were later taken into custody without incident, according to police, who did not release a motive or any other details of the alleged crime.
Eduardo Espinoza has felony convictions, including for grand theft.
Carlos Espinoza has no documented felony convictions in Riverside County.