A convicted felon accused of fatally beating a woman in Indio pleaded not guilty today to a murder charge.
Edward Alvarez, 40, of Indio was arraigned via video conference before Superior Court Judge Alfonso Fernandez at the Banning Justice Center. He
set the defendant's bail at $1 million and scheduled a felony settlement conference for Nov. 4 at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.
Alvarez, who remains in custody at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta, was arrested Oct. 17 at a condominium complex in the 47-300 block of Monroe Street on suspicion of killing 32-year-old Madeleine Gutierrez of Indio.
Gutierrez was a mother of two young boys who was working toward becoming a lawyer. A candlelight vigil was held by loved ones in her honor on Friday.
According to Indio Police Department spokesman Ben Guitron, officers were sent to the Summer Breeze complex about 5:30 that morning on a report of an assault. Gutierrez was found dead at the scene, and Alvarez was questioned and arrested soon after, police said.
Alvarez and the victim "were acquainted" according to Guitron, who did not specify the nature of their relationship, or provide a possible motive for the slaying, which was the sixth homicide in Indio this year.
Alvarez was convicted in 2017 of assault causing great bodily injury, a felony. In 2015, he was sentenced to probation following his guilty plea to false imprisonment and spousal abuse, both misdemeanors, court records show. He has an unresolved misdemeanor case pending from June involving trespassing and drug-related allegations.