A woman pleaded guilty to charges related to her role in the fatal assault of a 31-year-old man in a racially motivated attack outside a Hemet bar, while the two men charged in the attack were ordered to stand trial.
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.
During a preliminary hearing spanning Tuesday and Wednesday at the Banning Justice Center, Montanez pleaded guilty to charges of assault resulting in great bodily injury and being an accessory to murder.
Sufficient evidence was found for Gonzales to be held to answer on the murder charge. However, Sanchez’s murder charge was dropped.
Sanchez will still stand trial on two felony charges of assault on a person causing great bodily injury and being an accessory to murder.
Gonzales and Sanchez both face sentence enhancing allegations of the charges being motivated by race and were scheduled for a post-preliminary hearing on Dec. 14.
Gonzales and Montanez are each being held at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning. His bail is set at $1 million while she is now being held without bail due to pleading guilty.
Sanchez is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Benoit Detention Center in Indio.
According to Hemet Police Department 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.
Patrol officers were flagged down by a passer-by and found Childress mortally wounded, Miller said. 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 Miller.
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.