A preliminary hearing is scheduled Tuesday for two men and a woman accused of fatally assaulting a 31-year-old man in a racially motivated attack outside a Hemet bar.
Ernesto Gonzales, 29, Angel Melesio Sanchez, 33, and Ashley Cassandra Montanez, 29 — all of Hemet — allegedly attacked Andre Dyshawn Childress of San Jacinto last December.
Gonzales and Sanchez are each charged with murder and sentence-enhancing allegations of using a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony and targeting a victim because of his race. Montanez is charged with assault resulting in great bodily injury and being an accessory to murder.
Gonzales and Montanez are each being held at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning. His bail is set at $1 million, her’s at $500,000. Sanchez is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Benoit Detention Center in Indio.
The preliminary hearing at the Banning Justice Center will determine if there’s sufficient evidence to warrant a trial for the trio.
According to Hemet police Lt. Nathan Miller, shortly after midnight on Dec. 28, Sanchez and Gonzales were involved in an unspecified dispute with Childress and another man, identified in court documents only as “R.M.,” all of whom were inside the bar near Carmalita Street and Florida Avenue.
The defendants and victims soon exited the pub and carried their argument into the street, where the fatal assault occurred, Miller said.
He said patrol officers were flagged down by a passer-by and found Childress mortally wounded. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene moments later. The other victim, R.M., suffered undisclosed injuries from which he has since recovered.
The type of weapon allegedly used was not specified.
Relying on security surveillance video from surrounding businesses and eyewitness accounts, Sanchez and Gonzales were identified as the alleged perpetrators, according to the lieutenant.
Sanchez was arrested without incident on the night of Dec. 28, and Gonzales was taken into custody three days later.
Montanez was identified as the third alleged co-conspirator two months later, at which point she was charged and taken into custody.
Court documents show Sanchez has prior convictions for illegally manufacturing a weapon and driving under the influence.
Gonzales has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County, and Montanez has several traffic-related misdemeanor convictions, according to court records.
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