Crime

Attempted murder suspect pleads not guilty to 8 Cathedral City robberies

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - A man accused of shooting a store clerk during one of eight robberies he allegedly committed throughout Cathedral City pleaded not guilty today to attempted murder and robbery charges.

James Goodwin, 22, is charged with one count each of attempted murder, attempted robbery and evading arrest and 17 robbery counts stemming from robberies that occurred between January 2016 and last month.

Goodwin is accused of shooting a store clerk in the shoulder during a March 9 robbery at a Circle K convenience store at 68258 Ramon Road.

A declaration filed in support of an arrest warrant alleges Goodwin entered the store while wearing a ski mask and brandishing a .380 handgun. The clerk tried to escape out of the back of the store, but Goodwin allegedly shot the man in the shoulder as he was running away, then forced him to open the cash register.

Prosecutors allege Goodwin robbed seven additional Cathedral City restaurants and convenience stores, taking money and items from the stores, as well as from customers present during the heists.

Along with the Circle K robbery, Goodwin is accused of robberies on:

-- Jan. 6, 2016, at a Winchell's Donut House;

-- Jan. 12, 2016, at a Wienerschnitzel restaurant;

-- Feb. 2, 2016, at an El Pollo Loco restaurant;

-- Feb. 12, 2017, at a Circle K convenience store;

-- Feb. 25, 2017, at a 7-Eleven convenience store;

-- March 4, 2017, at a 7-Eleven convenience store; and

-- March 12, 2017, at an El Pollo Loco restaurant.

Goodwin was arrested March 17 following a chase triggered when police conducted a parole search at his Cathedral City home. He fled out of the back of the house, over a wall and into a car, but was spotted a few hours later, still behind the wheel, according to Cathedral City police Sgt. Larry Sanfillippo.

Officers gave chase after Goodwin failed to pull over. The pursuit led into unincorporated Desert Hot Springs, where he was taken into custody after the car broke down, Sanfillippo said.

Goodwin was a known commodity to Cathedral City police, who thought he may have matched the serial robbery suspect's description, the declaration alleges.

A search of his bedroom yielded .380 caliber ammunition, clothing, and footwear, including shoes similar to impressions found at the two of the robbery scenes, according to the declaration.

Goodwin is due to return to court April 11 for a felony settlement conference.


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