A 37-year-old woman suspected of fatally shooting her husband in their Coachella home must stand trial on murder and other charges, a judge ruled today.
Cindy Gicela Parra of Coachella was charged with one felony count each of murder, assault with a deadly weapon to cause great bodily harm and inflicting corporal injury on a spouse, according to court records. She additionally faces a sentence-enhancing allegation of discharging a firearm causing great bodily injury.
The decedent, her husband, was identified as Francisco Lopez of Coachella.
During an preliminary hearing at the Larson Justice Center in Indio, Detective Ricardo Ramirez of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said that when he interviewed Parra, she allegedly said she was in the backyard making "carnitas" with her husband, when he went inside, grabbed her handgun, went back outside, where they had a brief tussle in which she took the gun away and took it back into their bedroom.
From there, Parra gave two different descriptions of what happened in the room, one being that her husband took the gun back from her and at some point shot himself in the head, Ramirez alleged. The second description was that she eventually got the handgun away from her husband, pointed it at him, and he told her "If you have balls, pull the trigger," and she shot him in the head.
"She said that after she called 911, she went back to Francisco's body and placed the handgun that she had just shot and put it underneath his hand,'' Ramirez alleged.
Deputy District Attorney Shea Strand presented the court with several photos including one each of the defendant's white tank top with suspected blood splatter, Francisco's body on the ground next to a bed with a gun in his hand, suspected blood splatter on the mattress, Francisco's face with a gunshot to his forehead and two bullet casings found near his body.
"The defendant stated in her interview that she was told by Francisco `If you have the balls, then do it.' ... Although brief, she had moments to think about and chose to end Francisco's life,'' Strand said. ``The whole night prior, as well leading up to Francisco's death was riddled with argument, jealousy, chasing Francisco down to Miguel's house, getting him into the vehicle and bringing him back ultimately to where his life ended."
At the end of the preliminary hearing, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Dean Benjamini ruled that there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial for Parra on all charges as well as the allegation.
A post preliminary-hearing arraignment was set for June 1.
At about 4:50 a.m. on Aug. 7, 2022 deputies responded to the 84000 block of Fiesta Road to a report of a shooting, according to Sgt. Richard Carroll of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.
Carroll said that deputies found Lopez dead with gunshot wounds on the scene.
Homicide investigators from the Thermal station identified and detained Parra as the suspect, according to Carroll. She was being held at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning on $1 million bail.