A third defendant accused of holding a man against his will and beating him with multiple instruments including a wooden paddle over several days in Cathedral City pleaded not guilty Friday to several felony charges.
Genaro Jaime Lozoya, 30, of Indio was arrested Tuesday for his alleged role in the incident first reported earlier this month.
Lozoya was arraigned at the Banning Justice Center before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Alfonso Fernandez, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for June 22 at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.
The convicted felon remains behind bars on $90,000 bail.
He is charged with one count each of false imprisonment, assault on a person causing great bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon. Court papers allege he used a wooden paddle and a baton in the attack.
Police dispatchers received a 911 call on June 1 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.
Two brothers — Carlos Jose Espinoza, 30, and Eduardo Luis Espinoza, 32, both of Cathedral City — were arrested the day the victim came forward, according to police, who did not release a motive or any other details of the alleged crime.
Police later identified Lozoya as the third suspect after a witness said another man was seen fleeing the scene. Lozoya was detained after “many hours of in-depth follow-up” and interviewed by detectives, police said.
“As a result of that interview and the totality of the investigation, he was arrested,” according to a police statement.
Carlos and Eduardo Espinoza 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.
They have pleaded not guilty and remain in custody on $1 million bail, with a felony settlement conference scheduled for June 15 at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.
Eduardo Espinoza has felony convictions, including for grand theft; his brother has no documented felony convictions in Riverside County.
Lozoya has a felony conviction for receiving stolen property.
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