Three men accused of gunning down a Jurupa Valley High School student in a gang-related attack must stand trial for murder and other charges, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Eric “Mack” Guzman, 23, Adrian Miranda Alvarez, 22, and Juan Daniel Miranda, 26 — all of Jurupa Valley — allegedly targeted 19-year-old Walter Macklin in the 2019 slaying.

Following a two-day preliminary hearing at the Riverside Hall of Justice, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Mark Johnson found there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial for each defendant on first-degree murder, a special circumstance allegation of killing for the benefit of a criminal street gang, and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.

Johnson scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for all three defendants on Dec. 15. The men are all being held without bail — Guzman at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta, and Alvarez and Ponce at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.

According to sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Brosche, on the afternoon of Jan. 4, 2019, Macklin was standing in the 6000 block of Smith Avenue, near Holmes Avenue, in Jurupa Valley when the defendants allegedly confronted him and opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun.

Other than gang motivations, the exact reasons for targeting the victim were unclear. The victim, who was in his senior year at Jurupa Valley High, died at the scene.

The shooters fled, and over the ensuing 18 months, Central Homicide Unit detectives garnered sufficient evidence to present a case to the District Attorney’s Office, culminating in the trio being taken into custody on different dates, Brosche said.

None of the defendants have documented prior felony adult convictions in Riverside County.

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