The man suspected of fatally shooting another man in Holtville days before Christmas has pleaded not guilty to murder and remained in the county jail with bail set at $1 million, a prosecutor said.
Adrian Alvarado Lopez, 40, is accused of shooting Steven Garibaldi, 39, on Dec. 21 at a building in the 1900 block of Underwood Road, county Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Mike Mistriel said. An autopsy determined Garibaldi died from a gunshot wound to the head, he added.
Lopez entered his plea on Dec. 27 to murder, assault with a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, said Heather Trapnell, a county senior deputy district attorney. Lopez had a pretrial hearing scheduled for Jan. 3, she added.
His alleged accomplice, Jessica Michelle Noriega, 36, is suspected of being an accessory and has a court date set for Jan. 25, Trapnell added. Her custody status was not immediately available.
According to an Imperial County Sheriff’s Office press release, on Dec. 21 at 6:54 p.m. deputies responded to the 1900 block of Underwood Road in Holtville in reference to a “disturbance type call.”
Upon arrival, deputies located the victim of a battery with head injuries and began to render first aid until medical personnel arrived on scene. Further investigation led deputies to a second location at a residence where a male subject, later identified as Garibaldi, was found on the floor with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head.
Mistriel provided a few details about the investigation.
“We have some information on the motive but we cannot say due to the ongoing investigation,” said Mistriel. “It appears the firearm (.22 revolver allegedly found in possession of Lopez) is consistent with the shooting but it has not been determined.”