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Accused Palm Springs police shooter pleads not guilty to murder charges

The 26-year-old Palm Springs man accused of gunning down two Palm Springs police officers on Saturday made his first court appearance at the Larson Justice Center in Indio on Thursday afternoon.

John Felix is accused of killing Officer Jose Gilbert Vega and Officer Lesley Zerebny and wounding another Palm Springs police officer while they were responding to a domestic call that day.

Felix pleaded not guilty to the murder charges and denied all allegations in the case. He’s being held in jail on no bail. A felony settlement conference has been scheduled for the near future.

Felix was scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m., but his case was held until after all other proceedings were taken care of in the courtroom. KESQ and CBS Local 2 was at the courthouse and we’ll have continuing updates as they come to our newsroom.

Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin listed the following charges against Felix during a news conference on Wednesday afternoon:

2 counts of 1st degree murder 3 special circumstance allegations: murder of a police officer in the line of duty, multiple murder and for lying in wait 3 counts of attempted murder for trying to kill three other officers, one officer was wounded and two were shot at but not hit To the first 5 charges, attached are alleged enhancements: defendant personally used a firearm and possessed armor-piercing ammunition and was wearing a body vest Unlawfully possessing an assault weapon (AR-15) and ammunition after committing a felony Prior strike allegation involved felony assault with a fire arm which occurred in 2010, and for active street gang activity which occurred in 2010 as well Based on these charges, Felix will be eligible for the death penalty, but that determination hasn’t been made at this time and will be decided at the end of the month

KESQ News Team

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