■ By Halima Haider / Editorial assistant
On Friday, Jan. 6, at about 5:46 p.m., Josefina Esqueda of Hemet, 24, was dropped off at Hemet Valley Medical Center, unresponsive from a gunshot wound to the head. Esqueda was immediately transferred to the Riverside University Medical Center where she was placed on life support. The people who brought her there left without being identified. She died three days later on Jan. 9.
Upon further investigation, the Hemet Police Department determined that the crime occurred at a residence in the 300 block of N. Franklin Street in Hemet. It was later alleged that Esqueda’s brother, Alfredo Esqueda, 26, may have fired the shot that eventually caused her death.
On Friday, Jan.13, at about 10 a.m., with assistance from the Riverside County Gang Impact Team, Hemet Police investigators tracked down and apprehended Esqueda, who has prior convictions for assault with a deadly weapon resulting in great bodily injury, and parole violations, in the 16000 block of Maplegrove St. in the City of La Puente.
He pleaded not guilty before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Mark Johnson. In addition to murder, he is also charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and a sentence-enhancing allegation of using a firearm during the commission of a felony. Esqueda is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.
A felony settlement conference is scheduled March 3 at the Banning Justice Center. Call Hemet Police Detective Gonzalo Alvarez at (951) 765-2426 if you have information regarding this case.