A probationer and two other gang members accused of gunning down a 25-year-old Riverside man as he sat in his car pleaded not guilty Friday to first-degree murder and other charges.
Jacob Anthony Quiroz, 21, Justin Andrew Figueroa, 18, and David Jose Martinez, 25 — all of Riverside — were arrested earlier this month following a Riverside Police Department investigation in to the slaying of Eric Flores.
In addition to murder, the men are charged with special-circumstance allegations of lying in wait and killing for the benefit of a criminal street gang, which wasn’t identified.
They were arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Sean Crandell, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for Aug. 26 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
Quiroz and Martinez are each being held without bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta, while Figueroa is being held without bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.
According to Riverside police spokesman Officer Ryan Railsback, about 2:30 a.m. on March 2, the trio allegedly confronted Flores as he sat in his vehicle in the 10000 block of Gould Street, near Crest Avenue, less than a mile south of Riverside Municipal Airport.
Railsback alleged one or more of the defendants opened fire on the victim, in what investigators only described as a gang-related ambush.
Flores was struck several times and perished at the scene.
Witnesses called 911 to report the gunfire, and police officers and paramedics reached the location within a few minutes, but the assailants had already fled, according to Railsback.
He said that the police department’s Gang Intelligence Unit took over the investigation and developed leads pointing to the defendants as the alleged perpetrators.
All three were arrested without incident at different locations throughout Riverside on April 14.
Court records show that Quiroz has prior convictions for robbery and firearm assault in Orange County. Neither Figueroa or Martinez has documented prior felony convictions.