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Crime

Cathedral City brothers plead not guilty to false imprisonment, assault; Bail increased to $1 million

Two brothers accused of holding a 36-year-old man against his will and beating him with a wooden paddle over several days in Cathedral City pleaded not guilty to felony charges.

The judge also increased bail from $135,000 to $1 million for both defendants, who remain in custody

Carlos Jose Espinoza, 30, and Eduardo Luis Espinoza, 32 were arrested after the man somehow managed to get free and call 911.

According to the Cathedral City Police Department, the man told dispatchers that he was "beaten, zip-tied and held against his will for days." Sgt. Larry Sanfillippo said the victim led officers to the 37000 block of Bankside Drive, where unspecified evidence was collected that backed up his claim, leading to the arrest of the brothers.

Both men pleaded not guilty to one count of false imprisonment and two counts of assault on a person causing great bodily injury, along with sentence-enhancing allegations of using a weapon -- a wooden paddle -- during the
commission of a felony.

Eduardo Espinoza is additionally charged with one felony count each of robbery, criminal threats and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

The brothers will return to court on June 15th for a felony settlement conference. They are also scheduled to appear in court on June 17 for Preliminary Examination.

Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing updates.

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Jesus Reyes

City News Service

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