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Wanted Murder Pleads Not Guilty

INDIO, Calif. -   A Palm Springs woman charged in a fatal stabbing made her initial court appearance today after being arrested on a warrant for failing to appear in court earlier this month in her murder case, in which she had been
free on a $1 million bond.  She pleaded not guilty.

  Candace Rochelle Duran, 24, was arrested with two men Tuesday at Monterey Avenue and San Gorgonio Way in Palm Desert, said Palm Springs police Sgt. Mike Kovaleff.  Onlookers saw officers armed with rifles and other weapons make the arrests in front of Westfield Shoppingtown Palm Desert.

   Duran appeared for arraignments this afternoon at the Larson Justice Center in Indio and remained jailed without bail. She is due back in court on Aug. 10.
Kovaleff said detectives had recognized two of the three people in the parking lot of a nearby shopping center and did a traffic stop on their vehicle on Tuesday. The men were also arrested on felony warrants, he said.

   Duran was the subject of a $1.5 million  bench warrant related to a 2007 Palm Springs murder case in which she is awaiting trial. Riverside County Superior Court Judge John J. Ryan issued the warrant when Duran did not show up for a July 13 trial-readiness conference, according to court records.

   She is accused of stabbing Howard Villanueva to death on Sept. 23, 2007, when the 40-year-old plumber made a work call at her home in the 29000 block of Biskra Road in Palm Springs.

   Duran was also named in a felony warrant related to a robbery that occurred in Cathedral City in June, Kovaleff said. She has been charged in separate cases with receiving stolen property, possession of a controlled substance and other felonies and misdemeanors, according to court records.

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