Suspect in killing of 2 Palm Springs officers enters not guilty plea

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John Felix, the 26-year-old suspect in the shooting death of two Palm Springs police officers, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Thursday. (KABC)

The man suspected of gunning down two Palm Springs officers entered a not guilty plea on Thursday and is expected to undergo a mental evaluation.

A judge ordered John Hernandez Felix, 26, of Palm Springs held without bail.

Felix is facing two counts of first-degree murder, as well as three counts of attempted murder for what officials say was a deliberate attack on officers on Saturday.

Prosecutors say he shot at five officers, killing two, wounding one and missing two others.

Officer Jose Vega, a 35-year veteran of the force who was months away from retirement, and Officer Lesley Zerebny, who had given birth about four months ago, were killed in the shooting.

Felix appeared in court fully shackled on his legs, wrist and around his body. His defense attorney did not want cameras in the courtroom, but the judge allowed the cameras as long as they didn't show the defendant leaving the courtroom.

The attorney also asked for the arraignment to be postponed for his client to undergo a mental evaluation, but the request was denied and a not-guilty plea was entered.

Felix has a lengthy criminal record, including a 2010 conviction for assault with a deadly weapon, as well as criminal street gang activity.

He could potentially face the death penalty if convicted.

Felix is expected to return to court on Nov. 10.
Related Topics:
officer killedpolice officer shotPalm SpringsRiverside County
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