Suspect accused of shooting Indio man charged with murder

Nestor Cervantes pled not guilty at Wednesday's arraignment

INDIO, Calif. - A murder charge was filed Wednesday against a 20-year-old Coachella man suspected of fatally shooting an Indio resident earlier this month.

Nestor Gazca Cervantes was driving near Avenue 54 and Shady Lane in Coachella about 7 p.m. Friday when an officer pulled him over and arrested him on suspicion of killing 25-year-old Christopher Luis Aguilar, according to Indio police.

Cervantes pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday afternoon at the Larson Justice Center in Indio, and Riverside County Superior Court Judge Ronald Johnston doubled his bail to $2 million. Cervantes is due back in court Aug. 11 for a felony settlement conference.

At 8:25 p.m. on July 20, officers sent to the 83700 block of Avenue 48 in Indio found Aguilar lying on the ground suffering from a gunshot wound. Aguilar was taken to John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, where he later died.

Witnesses allegedly identified Cervantes as the ``sole shooter'' in Aguilar's killing, Indio police Sgt. Dan Marshall said. A possible motive hasn't been disclosed.

Aguilar was shot about 20 minutes after 20-year-old Julian Palomino Lopez of Indio, who was likely attacked near North Jackson Park in the 43200 block of Towne Street in Indio. Investigators haven't established a connection between the shootings, and no arrests have been announced in Lopez's killing.

The deaths were the seventh and eighth homicides in Indio this year.

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