Man charged in fatal river bottom shooting in Jurupa Valley – Press Enterprise

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A felon accused of gunning down a 52-year-old man in the Santa Ana River bottom is slated to be arraigned next month on murder and other charges.

Justin Ronald Vanderford, 41, of Jurupa Valley is suspected of killing Oscar Aguilar of Riverside during a confrontation in September.

Along with murder, Vanderford is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.

The defendant was arrested last week after a three-month Riverside County Sheriff’s Department investigation. He made his initial court appearance Wednesday before Superior Court Judge Gary Polk, who appointed him a public defender and set his arraignment for Feb. 5 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.

Vanderford is being held on $2 million bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta.

According to sheriff’s Sgt. Ben Ramirez, on the morning of Sept. 27, the defendant and Aguilar were involved in an unspecified conflict in the Santa Ana River bottom south of the intersection of Clay Street and Van Buren Boulevard.

During the encounter, Vanderford allegedly pulled a handgun and fatally shot the victim, then fled, Ramirez said.

People walking in the area discovered Aguilar’s body a short time later and called 911.

Central Homicide Unit detectives spent the ensuing months developing leads that ultimately pointed to Vanderford as the alleged shooter, Ramirez said.

According to court records, the defendant has prior convictions for auto theft, possession of controlled substances, receiving stolen property and being a probationer in possession of a gun.

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