RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The arraignment for a California man accused of fatally shooting two people in a movie theater has been postponed until Sept. 27.
The charges against Joseph Jimenez, 20, of Corona, were amended last week to include a second murder count, the Los Angeles Times reported. The motion to delay the arraignment was brought by Jimenez’s defense attorney, Charles Kenyon, according to The Press-Enterprise of Riverside.
Anthony Barajas, 19, a TikTok star, and his friend, Rylee Goodrich, 18, were shot in the head during a showing of “The Forever Purge” inside the Regal Edwards Corona Crossings Theater on July 26, according to KTLA. Goodrich died at the scene.
Barajas died early Saturday, the Corona Police Department announced Barajas’ death in a news release.
“The Forever Purge” is a 1-hour, 44-minute feature, the fifth installment in “The Purge” horror franchise. It is based on the premise of an annual ritual when murder and mayhem become temporarily legal, Variety reported.
On Wednesday, Jimenez had a jailhouse interview with the Press-Enterprise. Jimenez told the newspaper that voices in his head that had tormented him for months told him to kill Goodrich and Barajas.
Jimenez added that he was diagnosed with schizophrenia about eight months ago and was taking medication before he stopped taking his pills, according to the Press-Enterprise. At that point, Jimenez said he decided not to refill his prescription when they ran out, the newspaper reported.
On Thursday, Kenyon objected to the interview, asking Superior Court Judge Ronald L. Taylor to limit future jailhouse visits with Jimenez to those approved by the defense lawyer, the Press-Enterprise reported. The attorney added that the interview violated attorney-client privilege and was done without his permission.
“At no point did we authorize that, approve that, agree with that, in fact, we’ve been very clear about making no comments to the press or anyone in this case,” Kenyon told the court.
Taylor granted the motion.
Deputy District Attorney Kevin Beecham asked that search warrants in the case be sealed, the Times reported.
David Snyder, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, said Kenyon was wrong, according to the Press-Enterprise.
“The statement that it’s unauthorized and that it violated attorney-client privilege is nonsensical,” Snyder told the newspaper. “Journalists aren’t required to get permission from the lawyer to talk to the defendant, and the defendant has the right to talk to anyone he wants without his attorney’s permission.”
Snyder said Kenyon could have told Jimenez not to speak with the media about the case.
“But that didn’t happen, apparently,” Snyder told the Press-Enterprise.
In addition to the two counts of murder, the charges against Jimenez include a special circumstance of multiple murder and a special circumstance of lying in wait because he sneaked up and attacked the victims, District Attorney spokesperson John Hall told reporters after the hearing.
The charges make him eligible for the death penalty, the Times reported.
In a search warrant obtained by the Times, Corona Detective Jason Goudy said that six people were in the audience for the 9:35 p.m. PDT showing of the movie.
Jimenez watched the movie with three friends, the warrant stated. He left halfway through the showing, returning with a bag and informing his friends that he had a “strap,” according to the warrant. That left only Barajas and Goodrich inside the theater with Jimenez.
According to the warrant, the friends told investigators they believed Jimenez had brought a gun into the theater, the Times reported.
The friends told Jimenez that they needed to use the bathroom and left the theater, according to the warrant. Several minutes later, the friends, who were in the theater’s parking lot, told investigators that they saw Jimenez “run outside the theater and run to his vehicle” and drive away, the warrant said.
©2021 Cox Media Group