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Indio drive-by murder trial continues

INDIO, Calif.- - A murder trial is set to continue today for four suspected gang members charged in a 2016 drive-by shooting that resulted in a man's death in Indio.
   
Cesar Monzon Jr., 29, Angel Lopez, 30, Andrew Marquie Malanche, 27, and Jose Antonio Armendariz, 35, each are charged with murder and gang-related allegations. They face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of the Aug. 7, 2016, shooting death of Adrian Valdez, 22, of Indio, who was found wounded at 12:43 a.m. in front of a home in the 82600 block of Mountain View Avenue. He died about four hours later at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.
   
Surveillance footage from an Indio 7-Eleven and from Mountain View Avenue show the occupants of a Chevrolet Caprice and a Toyota Sequoia congregating at the convenience store and then traveling to the shooting scene, according to police.

Fourth and final shooting suspect picked up in Mexico
   
A security camera from a nearby home captured gunfire coming from the Toyota's driver and passenger side, while the Chevrolet sped eastbound down Mountain View Avenue, out of the camera's view. The alleged assailants apparently were met with return fire.
   
Lopez and Malanche showed up at Indio's JFK Memorial Hospital that day, according to police. Malanche was hospitalized with a single gunshot wound while Lopez was treated for a graze wound.
   
Hospital security told police that upon arrival, Lopez was seen taking a backpack from the Caprice and hiding it near the north side of the emergency room. Police recovered the backpack, which contained two handguns andnearly 100 rounds of ammunition, according to a declaration filed in support of an arrest warrant.

Arraignment postponed for 3 suspects accused of Indio gang shooting
   
Lopez told police that he was inside the Caprice during the shooting but did not admit to shooting Valdez, the declaration states.
   
Malanche told detectives that he was driving by the Mountain View Avenue home with Lopez when they were fired upon. Malanche said he was ``scared'' and that he and Lopez fired several shots at their attackers in retaliation, according to the declaration.
   
Armendariz, who police say was driving the Toyota, was arrested after police tracked down the SUV's registered owner, who told police that Armendariz usually drove the vehicle. Police found Armendariz at the registered owner's home on Aug. 8 and arrested her on an outstanding warrant alleging assault with a deadly weapon.
   
Police said Armendariz refused to speak with detectives about the shooting, but a warrant was served the following day to search the Toyota. Three bullet holes were seen on the outside of the SUV and ammunition was allegedly found inside.
   
Monzon fled the country following the shooting and was arrested three weeks later after a fugitive task force located him in Mexicali, Mexico, where prosecutors said several of his family members reside.
   
Detectives were tipped to Monzon's alleged involvement after a parole officer told them that Monzon had cut off his GPS ankle monitor on the night of the shooting, a declaration states.
   
His movements just prior to the shooting brought him to within 40 yards of the Mountain View Avenue residence, according to the declaration. The parole officer told police that the ankle bracelet was removed shortly after 12:50 a.m.


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