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Six DHS Teens Now Face Gang Charges In Addition To Murder

Six of eight teenagers accused in the stabbing death of a man outside a party in Desert Hot Springs were charged today with being members of a local gang.

Samuel Manuel Vallejo, 17, Bryan Gonzalez, 16, Ruben Alexander Chavez, 14, Steven Ray Arellano, who just turned 14, Omar Hernandez, 16, David Larios, 17, and brothers Jonathan Romero, 17, and Angel David Romero, 15, are being prosecuted in adult court on murder and other charges.

Gonzalez, Chavez, Arellano, Hernandez, and the Romero brothers are accused of being active participants in the West Drive Locos criminal street gang, according to court papers.

All of the boys are charged with a sentence-enhancing allegation of committing a felony for the benefit of a street gang.

The boys, who pleaded not guilty to the additional charges, originally were due in court today for a preliminary hearing. But defense attorneys asked for a delay of the proceeding — which will determine if there is enough evidence to proceed with the case — because they had just received hundreds of pages of police reports from the prosecution.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Thomas Douglass ordered the youths to return to court on Sept. 22 for a felony settlement conference.

The teens are accused in the June 13 death of 23-year-old Jose Alvarez Villalobos, who died at a hospital following a street fight in the 66000 block of Third Street near Cactus Drive.

Police have not said how the fight began.

The youths are all being held at Juvenile Hall in lieu of $1 million bail.

KESQ News Team

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