Man charged with Cathedral City shooting death pleads not guilty

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif.- - A San Bernardino man pleaded not guilty today to a charge he gunned down another man outside a Cathedral City home.   

Christian Isaiah Jimenez, 20, was arrested earlier this month in Needles in connection with the Aug. 19 shooting death of Alberto Rafael Sosa Alvarez, 21.

Alvarez was found suffering from gunshot wounds at about 12:50 a.m. on a sidewalk in the 68300 block of Madrid Road after police received multiple 911 calls about a disturbance in the area. 

Officers began life-saving efforts until paramedics arrived and took him to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, where he died, police said.

Police were unable to immediately find any witnesses or suspects, but detectives eventually were able to identify Jimenez as a person of interest and obtained an arrest warrant for him, police said.

No details were released on what led police to focus on Jimenez.

Cathedral City police on Sept. 3 tracked Jimenez to a residence in the 1900 block of Clary Drive in Needles and took both Jimenez and a woman into custody.

The 20-year-old woman arrested along with Jimenez was suspected of being an accessory to murder and harboring a felon but prosecutors declined to file charges against her due to "lack of sufficient evidence,'' Riverside County District Attorney's Office spokesman John Hall said. 

She was released from custody on Sept. 6, according to jail records. Along with the murder charge, Jimenez also faces a sentence enhancement of discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury.

He is being held at the Indio Jail on $1 million bail and is due back in court for a felony settlement conference Oct. 18.

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