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Suspects in death of man in Whitewater plead not guilty to murder

Daniel Pacheco (Left) and Juan Reyes (Right)
Daniel Pacheco (Left) and Juan Reyes (Right)

Update 11/7/23

Juan Reyes pled not guilty to his charges on Tuesday. He is being held without bail.

Original Report 11/6/23

A man suspected in the fatal shooting of another man who was found last week outside a vehicle in Whitewater pleaded not guilty to murder today.

Daniel Tomas Pacheco, 40, of Whitewater and Juan Reyes, 48, of Palm Springs were charged with one felony count each of murder and being a convicted felon and narcotic addict in possession of a firearm, according to court records. Pacheco additionally faces a sentence-enhancing allegation of using a firearm, and Reyes of discharging a firearm causing great bodily injury.   

Pacheco pleaded not guilty to the charges Monday afternoon at the Larson Justice Center in Indio. An arraignment date was not immediately set for Reyes.

Deputies responded at 12:46 p.m. Wednesday to a residence in the 15700 block of Country View Road regarding a dead person in a vehicle in the driveway, Riverside County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Sgt. Deirdre Vickers told City News Service.

"Upon arrival, deputies searched a large parcel of land and found a deceased male outside near a parked vehicle,'' RCSD Sgt. Ben Ramirez wrote in a statement. "The scene was secured, and an investigation began.''   

The man was identified as 32-year-old Johnny Sanchez of Desert Hot Springs.  

The Central Homicide Unit responded and assumed the investigation, which revealed that Sanchez was shot at the property, according to Ramirez. Pacheco and Reyes were subsequently identified as suspects.

Pacheco was initially detained at the property and then arrested on Thursday, Ramirez said. Reyes was arrested around 2 p.m. Thursday in the 35000 block of East Palm Canyon Road in Palm Springs by members of the Coachella Valley Violent Crimes Gang Task Force and the sheriff's Major Crimes Unit.

Reyes and Pacheco were both booked into the John J. Benoit Detention Center in Indio, where they both remain held, Reyes without bail and Pacheco on $1 million bail, according to inmate records.

Anyone with information on the shooting was asked to call Investigator Brown with the Palm Desert sheriff's station at 760-836-1600 or Investigator Munoz with the Central Homicide Unit at 951-955-2777.

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Article Topic Follows: Crime

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