A second man who was charged in the kidnapping and robbing of a group of people in Desert Hot Springs pleaded not guilty to related charges Wednesday.
Thomas Nieto, 29, was arrested Monday on suspicion of assisting 20-year-old Taquan Charles Ray Doss in robbing a group of people Doss had kidnapped, according to Doria Wilms, a spokesperson for the Desert Hot Springs Police Department.
Nieto and Doss are both from Desert Hot Springs.
On Wednesday, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office charged Nieto with three felony counts each of kidnapping to commit a robbery and robbery as well as one felony count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. He also faces sentence-enhancing allegations of using a firearm in commitment of a felony.
Nieto appeared for arraignment at the Larson Justice Center on Wednesday, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges and was scheduled to appear for a felony settlement conference on March 11.
He remains held at the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio on $1 million bail.
Doss was arrested Feb. 1 amid an investigation into the Jan. 31 incident in the 12700 block of Palm Drive.
According Wilms, Doss approached several people inside a vehicle near the location and pulled a handgun on them. He allegedly forced himself into the vehicle and ordered the group to drive to an unspecified location. Once they arrived, Doss, alongside Nieto, allegedly stole a number of items from the victims before leaving the scene.
Doss is charged with four felony counts of robbery, three felony counts of kidnapping to commit a robbery, two felony counts of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and one felony count of resisting arrest. He also faces sentence-enhancing allegations of using a firearm in commitment of a felony.
Doss pleaded not guilty to the charges when he was arraigned at the Larson Justice Center on Feb. 3 and remains held on $1 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.