Prosecutors have dismissed murder charges filed against two Pomona residents accused of playing a role in the shooting death of a 24-year-old Ontario man last year.
Juan Carlos Arredondo, 26, and Delia Mora, 39, had been jailed awaiting trial for the death of Jessie Diaz, who was shot and killed Oct. 11 near the intersection of Park Avenue and Pearl Street.
But when Arredondo and Mora appeared in Pomona Superior Court Jan. 13 for a preliminary hearing, prosecutors announced they would not proceed with the case, said Arredondo and Mora’s attorneys.
Mora was released from jail the next day, and Arredondo was released Jan. 17, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department records.
“(Prosecutors) were kind of being pretty closed mouthed about” the reasons for dismissing the charges, said Charles Uhalley, Mora’s attorney. “They referred it back to (Pomona police) for additional investigation.”
Antonio Bestard, Arredondo’s attorney, said the case “was dismissed because (prosecutors) could not get their witnesses.”
Deputy District Attorney Lindley R. Heher, the prosecutor, declined to explain her office’s reasons for dismissing the case. She declined to comment when asked other questions about the case.
According to Uhalley, prosecutors initially alleged that Arredondo shot and killed Diaz because Diaz stole Arredondo’s girlfriend’s cell phone and refused to return it.
Mora was among four or five other people who rode in a van with Arredondo to the scene of the shooting, Uhalley said.
Uhalley called prosecutors’ evidence against Mora “really slim.”
“There’s no evidence that the people in the van knew that (Arredondo) had a gun. … They were going to talk to this guy about getting a cell phone back, and (Arredondo) whips out a gun and shoots this person, according to the police theory,” Uhalley said.
Uhalley said he doesn’t believe prosecutors will refile murder charges against Mora unless police detectives uncover additional evidence.
Arredondo is more likely to again face murder charges, Uhalley said. “It seems to me like he’s the one who would have the most culpability,” he said.