Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pit bull shot, killed inside Palm Springs home

By Kate McGinty, The Desert Sun

A pit bull was shot and killed Monday inside a Palm Springs home, and police said Tuesday no arrests have yet been made.
Gunfire was first reported in the 1900 block of Marguerite Street shortly before 4:30 p.m.
The shooting happened inside the kitchen after a man had broken into his estranged girlfriend’s home, according to dispatch and media reports.
Several police cars raced to the neighborhood after the gunfire was heard, and they called in police dogs to help search.
Police did not release a description of the assailant Monday and said early Tuesday they expected to put out a news release with more details on the shooting.
In the hours after the shooting, the two officers who remained on the scene more than an hour after the gunfire appeared to be piecing together what happened. They peered behind the wooden fence that blocks off the home’s backyard and pointed at the vacant lot next door.

An unidentified woman was inside crying with one other woman and a young man.
The home is in a quiet residential neighborhood southeast of Crossley Road and Dinah Shore Drive, near the Whitewater Wash.

Update May 19, 2011 - The following article is from My Desert:

Arrest at Rancho Mirage hotel linked to Monday's fatal pit bull shooting

A suspect who summoned deputies to a motel in Rancho Mirage to turn himself in a shortly time ago is now in custody.
Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy Herlinda Valenzuela has confirmed the name of the suspect is Raymond Espinoza, the same as the man wanted by Palm Springs police on accusations of killing his ex-girlfriend's pit bull in Palm Springs on Monday.
Espinoza called police from the Motel 6 at 69-570 Highway 111 at 10:44 a.m., Valenzuela said, and was taken into custody about half an hour later. Palm Springs police are aware of the arrest, she said.

Update September 1, 2011 - The following article is from The Desert Sun:

Man accused of killing ex's pit bull in Palm Springs sentenced

A convicted felon who was accused of shooting a former girlfriend's pit bull pleaded guilty today to firearm possession and was sentenced to three years probation.
Raymond Alfred Espinoza, 35, who has two prior felony convictions, was originally charged with animal cruelty, being a felon in possession of a firearm, discharging a firearm and shooting at a dwelling.
As part of a plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to firearm possession and Riverside Superior Court Judge Jeffrey J. Prevost dismissed the other charges.
Espinoza was about to go on trial in the case, with attorneys last week beginning discussion of pre-trial motions regarding witnesses and evidence.
Espinoza was accused of entering Joyce Brightwell's Marguerite Street residence in Palm Springs on May 16 and shooting her dog several times.
The canine was dead on the kitchen floor when officers arrived, according to Palm Springs police Sgt. Paul Abshire. It was unclear whether Brightwell was home at the time.

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