A Canyon Country man accused of Santa Clarita’s only murder in 2013 is due back in court in March for a preliminary hearing, a prosecutor said Monday.
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“We set it for a preliminary hearing March 20 in Dept. H of the San Fernando court,” said Nathan Bartose, deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County.
Mejia is being charged with three counts related to the shooting death of his father: murder, gross negligence in the discharge of a firearm and receiving stolen property.
Related article: Santa Clarita Man Accused In Shooting Death Of Father Due Back
The prosecution is alleging the gun Mejia is accused of using in his father’s murder was stolen.
Mejia, 31, of Canyon Country, is the lone suspect in the shooting of his 53-year-old father, who goes by the same name.
At a preliminary hearing, Mejia, who’s being represented by private counsel, will have the evidence against him presented, and a judge will decide if there is enough to merit a trial.
An investigation by Sheriff’s Station detectives resulted in Mejia being listed as a suspect within days.
At approximately 11:47 p.m. on May 16, he produced a gun and shot his father in the head, according to a Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau detective.
The shooting took place at the 19000 block of Newhouse Street in Canyon Country, at the elder Mejia’s residence.
Homicide Bureau detectives worked with Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station detectives to find the younger Juan Mejia.
After a special bulletin was put out by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Mejia was found the week after the shooting.
The public’s help was part of the reason why deputies were able to find and detain their suspect for questioning, according to a sergeant with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
“We got information that he was over in the Canyon Country area,” according to Sgt. Rich Nagler, at the time of Mejia’s arrest. “And when we got over there, we found him and detained him.”
Detectives believe the suspect, arrived home intoxicated and began to argue with his parents at their home.
The weapon used in the crime has not yet been recovered by Sheriff’s Station deputies, according to previous reports.
Mejia first answered the charges in May, when he pleaded not guilty to first degree murder.
Mejia is being held in lieu of $2,055,000 bail at the Pitchess Detention Center.
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Source: Santa Clarita News