PORTERVILLE — A man with alleged ties to a California prison gang pleaded not guilty Tuesday to killing six people, including a teenage mother and her baby, last month at a central California home connected to a rival gang, prosecutors said.
Rural Goshen, a community of about 3,000 people in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley, was shocked by the Jan. 16 massacre.
Angel Uriarte, 35, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday and is being held without bail. He had been hospitalized in custody after being wounded in a shootout with federal agents more than two weeks after the killings.
Uriarte’s co-defendant, 25-year-old Noah David Beard, pleaded not guilty earlier this month. Authorities say he shot Alissa Parraz, 16, and her 10-month-old baby, Nycholas Parraz, in the back of the head.
Both face six counts of murder and other crimes and each face the death penalty or life in prison without parole. The Tulare County District Attorney has not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty.
“The Tulare County sheriff and prosecutor have already poisoned the jury by announcing to anyone who will listen that this is a death penalty case, despite the fact that the governor announced some time ago that he was suspending executions in California,” the statement said. Uriarte’s lawyer. Anthony Dell’Anno Sr., said in an email. “Sounds political to me.”
Due to various legal challenges and court rulings, California has not executed anyone for years. In 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a moratorium on executions while he is in office.
Sheriff Mike Boudreaux has publicly called on Newsom to reinstate the death penalty for both men and other cases where children are killed.
Beard’s attorney declined to comment on Tuesday.
The suspects will appear in court on March 15.
Investigators believe the two suspects have ties to the Nuestra Familia prison gang. Uriarte was convicted in 2015 of assault with a firearm in association with a street gang, and Beard had juvenile convictions, prosecutors said in a lawsuit.
Authorities have not disclosed the reason for the shooting, but reported the Los Angeles Times that it happened after years of bad blood between two feuding families in Goshen.
The other victims were identified as: Rosa Parraz, 72; Eladio Parraz, Jr., 52; Jennifer Analla, 49; and Marcos Parraz, 19.