Crime

Colorado man to be tried for Indio motel death

Woman killed during botched drug deal

INDIO, Calif. - A Colorado man suspected of fatally shooting a woman inside an Indio motel room following a botched drug deal was ordered Thursday to stand trial.

Aaron Drayer, 21, of Denver, is charged with murder and a sentence-enhancing allegation of using a firearm in the Jan. 15 shooting death of 32- year-old Liliana Arellano-Yanez.

According to testimony presented at Drayer's preliminary hearing, Arellano-Yanez was inside a room at the Royal Plaza Inn, 82347 Highway 111, with several other people when she was shot in the chest. She died at the scene.

READ: Suspect arrested in deadly shooting at Indio hotel

Detective Gabriel Ladanne of the Indio Police Department testified that acquaintances of Arellano-Yanez met Drayer at a casino and invited him back to the motel to sell drugs. He said witnesses told detectives that while at the Royal Plaza Inn, he became agitated in the belief that someone had tampered with a hollowed-out book in which he allegedly transported his drugs.

Ladanne alleged that Drayer brandished a chrome .357 handgun and asked those in the room who had messed with his "book safe,'' then shot Arellano-Yanez after the two got into an argument.

Drayer was arrested the same day by Indio police and San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies, who found him hiding inside the bathroom of a home in Joshua Tree.

Drayer, who is being held on $2 million bail, will return to court Oct. 19 for a post-preliminary hearing arraignment.

Arellano-Yanez's mother,  Soledad Arellano, spoke in January about her loss. She described her daughter as a popular and lively girl. 

READ: Mother of Indio shooting victim struggles with sudden loss

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