Opening arguments are expected Monday in the trial of a man accused of beating a Thermal man to death with a bat.
Saul Mayoral, 53, is accused in the March 23, 2018 death of a man identified in a trial brief filed by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office as Hector Quinones.
Quinones’ body was found in a drainage channel near the suspect’s mobile home, authorities said.
Mayoral is charged with one felony count of murder along with sentence-enhancing allegations of using a weapon during the felony.
He has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity to the charges, meaning that if he is found guilty, a second phase of the trial would commence to determine the defendant’s sanity at the time of the crime.
On the day of the alleged murder, a local resident discovered the victim’s body at 7:17 a.m. in the 87800 block of Avenue 52 and flagged down deputies, according to Sgt. Wallace Clear of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Mayoral turned himself over to authorities later that evening and admitted to hitting the victim with the bat, according to the trial brief.
At the time of his arrest, Mayoral was on probation for battery committed against a custodial officer, according to court records.
He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.