Arraignment postponed for Corona movie theater shooting suspect

Local news

The suspect accused of shooting and killing two teenagers at a Corona movie theater last week appeared in court Thursday, when the judge postponed his arraignment until Sept. 27.

Joseph Jimenez, 20, was charged with two counts of murder in the July 26 shooting, according to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. The charges include a special circumstance of multiple murders and a special circumstance of lying in wait, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday.

Anthony Barajas, 19, and Rylee Goodrich, 18, were shot in the head during a July 26 screening of “The Forever Purge” inside the Edwards Theater at the Crossings shopping center.

Both victims were discovered when workers went inside the theater to clean up after the movie screening, police said.

Goodrich was pronounced dead at the scene. Barajas was taken to a hospital, where he was placed on life support, but he died on July 31.

There’s no indication that the suspect knew the victims, police have said, calling it an “unprovoked attack.”

In a jailhouse interview Wednesday, Jimenez blamed the shooting on voices in his head that had apparently been tormenting him for months.

“The voices said my friends and family were going to be killed,” Jimenez said at the Banning jail where he is being held, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported. Jimenez also provided a description of the shootings.

But during the interview, the 20-year-old offered his condolences to the families of the victims, and said, “I wish I didn’t do it.”

Jimenez said he was diagnosed with schizophrenia about eight months ago but recently stopped taking his prescribed medication.

Jimenez’s defense attorney, Charles Kenyon, said in court Thursday that he did not authorize that jailhouse interview, and asked the judge to bar anyone except attorneys from visiting his client. 

“The record should reflect that at no point did we authorize that, approve that, agree with that,” Kenyon said. “In fact, we’ve been very clear about making no comments to the press or to anyone in this case.”

Judge Ronald Taylor called it a “serious violation of the attorney-client privilege” and agreed to support a motion that would limit access to Jimenez. And, at the request of the DA’s office, the judge also agreed to seal search warrants in the case.

The postponement of the arraignment was requested by both the prosecution and the defense.

The charges against Jimenez make him eligible for the death penalty.

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