Trial date set for Cathedral City man accused of killing teen

A judge today confirmed the next trial date for a man accused of fatally shooting a 17-year-old boy in Cathedral City.

Juan Landeros-Garcia, 25, is scheduled to go on trial for murder on Sept. 17. He was arrested on April 6, 2020, two days after Isaiah Guerra, another Cathedral City resident, was found suffering from at least 11 gunshot wounds inside a crashed car.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Otis Sterling ruled on August 21, 2020, that prosecutors had presented sufficient evidence to hold Landeros-Garcia on pretrial detention on murder charges and an aggravated charge of discharging a firearm causing great bodily injury.

The defendant was jailed at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta on $1 million bail.

According to the Cathedral City Police Department, police found Guerra slumped over the steel wheel of his car, which had crashed into two palm trees at the intersection of Avenida Alvera and McCallum Way around 7:45 p.m. on April 4, 2020.

At the defendant’s preliminary hearing, Officer Alberto Felix testified that he administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other life-saving measures, but paramedics pronounced Guerra dead at the scene.

According to Riverside County Assistant District Attorney Steven Sorensen, exterior surveillance footage from several homes in the area helped Cathedral City detectives piece together what happened that night, leading to the arrest of Landeros-Garcia less than a mile from the scene of the shooting on Modalo Road.

The motive for the shooting remains unknown.

Landeros-Garcia has no documented criminal convictions in Riverside County, although he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of assault and willfully resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer in 2023.