A parolee accused of gunning down a man in the courtyard of an apartment building in Desert Hot Springs must stand trial for the victim’s murder, a judge ruled Friday.
Edwardo Stultz, 24, of Cathedral City, is accused of the Dec. 13, 2016 shooting of 37-year-old Coachella resident Johnny Rodrigues outside an apartment at 66173 2nd Street. Rodrigues was pronounced dead at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs of multiple gunshot wounds.
Along with murder, Stultz is charged with possession of a firearm, as well as sentence-enhancing gang and firearm use allegations.
According to court documents, witnesses said an argument broke out in the apartment’s courtyard between several men just prior to the 3 a.m. shooting.
Rodrigues "was unable to say who shot him and quickly went into cardiac arrest on scene," the report says.
Multiple witnesses identified Stultz, leading to his arrest at 9 that night near his home in the 28700 block of Landau Boulevard, according to Sgt. Gus Paiz. Police are also seeking at least one other person who remains at large.
Stultz previously served three years in prison for possession of a controlled substance and attempting to evade a peace officer and was released in September.
Stultz also was one of almost 50 suspects targeted in a seven-month investigation conducted by various law enforcement entities.
That effort culminated with a Thursday morning sweep in Hemet and surrounding cities, resulting in 24 arrests.
Stultz will return to court July 14 for a post-preliminary hearing arraignment.