LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Three men have been charged with murdering and robbing a man at a scenic turnout on Angeles Crest Highway in Pasadena in July, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday.
Luis Ventura, 24, Marco Antonio Hernandez, 18, and Abraham Ernesto Alvarenga Cortez, 21, are charged in the killing of Jesse Enrique Munoz, whom authorities said was shot multiple times at about 3:50 a.m. July 22.
The three are also charged with robbing a female who was with the 32-year-old victim, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Cortez is additionally facing an allegation that he personally used a handgun.
Ventura -- who was arrested July 26 by Pasadena police -- was initially charged with robbing Munoz and his companion, with the murder count subsequently being filed. He has pleaded not guilty and is due back in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom Oct. 6, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to allow the case against him to proceed to trial.
Hernandez and Cortez are set to be arraigned Sept. 11.
A fourth man who allegedly was involved with the crime has not been identified, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Munoz was allegedly robbed and murdered by the three defendants and an unidentified man and died at the scene, prosecutors said.
Lt. Keith Gomez of the Pasadena Police Department said in July that investigators believed Munoz's shooting was connected to the killings of two other people who were found dead July 24 in a vehicle in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Jorge Ramos, 36, and TaylorRaven Whittaker, 26, were shot to death inside a parked Subaru sedan in the 7000 block of Palos Verdes Drive, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Gomez declined to give specifics about the alleged link between the two shootings.
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