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James Angle found guilty for Desert Hot Springs shotgun slaying


Jury verdicts are in as the trial of a felon accused of fatally shooting a Desert Hot Springs man during a confrontation are read in a Banning Courtroom Tuesday Morning.

The jury found James John Angle, of Indio, guilty of first-degree murder and the use of a gun allegation was also found to be true in the 2018 murder of Joseph Gimino.

According to the District Attorney's Office Angle's sentencing is scheduled for July 12th at the Banning Justice Center. Angle is facing a potential sentence of 50 years to life in prison.

His co-defendant, 31-year-old Raymond Villegas Jr., pleaded guilty last year to being a felon with a gun, as well as charges tied to another case. He was sentenced to 16 months in state prison.

According to an arrest warrant declaration filed by Desert Hot Springs police Detective Troy Castillo, Angle had purchased a backup generator from Gimino in early December 2018 via an online application. But within a few days of the defendant retrieving it, he re-contacted the victim and "accused him of originally stealing the generator from him -- Angle -- and then reselling it back to him."  

There were ``multiple'' messages from the defendant allegedly demanding the victim return his cash, which Gimino refused, according to the affidavit.

On the night of Dec. 11, 2018, Angle went to the victim's business, where police suspected an illicit gambling operation was active at 66523 Pierson Blvd., and began slashing the tires on Gimino's pickup truck, court papers alleged.

Security surveillance video cameras recorded most of what transpired next, the declaration stated.

Gimino spotted the damage being done to his vehicle and raced out of the business with a .45-cailiber semiautomatic pistol in his hand, then proceeded to "chase Angle around the vehicle,'' according to Castillo.  

Angle had evidently planned on a confrontation and ran to the passenger side of his SUV, where he grabbed a 12-gauge pump shotgun and fired one time, striking the victim in the right upper arm, the declaration said.   

Gimino collapsed to the ground, seriously wounded. His pistol flew out of his hand, landing nearby, where Villegas, who had been observing the confrontation and knew Angle, picked up the gun, after which he got into the defendant's vehicle, and the two sped away, Castillo wrote.

The victim was taken to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, where he spent three days in the critical care unit before ultimately succumbing to the shotgun wound.

However, two days prior to his death, he was alert and able to speak with investigators, giving them general details that they used that month to obtain an arrest warrant for both Angle and Villegas.

The latter was taken into custody after a pursuit in Desert Hot Springs on Dec. 22, 2018. He identified Angle as the shooter during an interview with detectives, according to Castillo.

Angle was arrested without incident on Jan. 10, 2019, on Bob Hope Drive in Rancho Mirage.

He has a prior conviction for grand larceny, according to court records.   

Villegas had priors for battery on a peace officer and possession of controlled substances for sale.

Article Topic Follows: Crime

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