A man accused of gunning down a 37-year-old acquaintance in his car in East Hemet, then leading law enforcement on a brief pursuit, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder and other offenses.
Bryan Paul Goetter, 43, of East Hemet, was arrested and booked into the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside last month following an investigation into the death of Matthew Allen Lunsford.
Along with murder, Goetter is charged with felony evading, carrying a semiautomatic firearm onto a public school campus and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.
The defendant was arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Elaine Kiefer, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for Tuesday at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.
The defendant is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Riverside jail.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Richard Carroll, about 11 a.m. April 29, Goetter was involved in an unspecified confrontation with Lunsford, who was inside a parked vehicle near the intersection of Collegian Way and Dartmouth Street.
During the encounter, the defendant allegedly pulled out a handgun and shot the victim, Carroll said.
He said deputies were called to the location immediately afterward and found Lunsford dead in the car.
“Several witnesses reported seeing a vehicle fleeing the scene,” the sergeant said. “The California Highway Patrol was notified of the vehicle description, and shortly after, a CHP officer located the vehicle.”
Carroll said a brief pursuit ensued, but Goetter stopped and surrendered without further incident.
A possible motive for the attack was not disclosed.
According to public records, Goetter and Lunsford once occupied the same property in the 41300 block of Collegian Way, but it was unclear whether they were sharing the residence at the time of the shooting.
There was no information regarding the allegation stemming from possession of the gun on school grounds.