A 22-year-old Indio man accused of killing his girlfriend and setting fire to the Thermal mobile home she shared with her children was ordered today to undergo an examination by a court-appointed psychiatrist.
Superior Court Jude Dean Banjamini suspended criminal proceedings in the case of Christian Pacheco pending the results of the examination. A doctor’s report must be submitted to the court on or before Aug. 11, the defendant’s next scheduled court date.
Pacheco faces charges or murder, arson, assault and animal cruelty charges in the death of 30-year-old Elilia Valdez, a mother of two.
Valdez’s body was found on March 18 in the area of 63700 Monroe Street, about six hours after sheriff’s deputies found her mobile home ablaze.
No one was inside the mobile home, but "information obtained from witnesses indicated that a domestic violence incident may have occurred between an adult female resident and her boyfriend before the home was set on fire," said Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Raymond Huskey.
Deputies located Pacheco at 12:45 PM in the 51700 block of Calle Torres Orduno in Coachella, the sergeant said.
According to a criminal complaint, a knife was used in Valdez’s murder, and Pacheco is also accused of committing an assault with a deadly weapon — a vehicle — on a man and animal cruelty on a dog, also while wielding a knife.
Pacheco remains in custody in lieu of $1 million bail.