Accused California theater shooter enters insanity plea

Posted at 9:58 PM, September 27, 2021 and last updated 3:28 PM, July 24, 2023

CORONA, Calif. (AP) — A man accused of fatally shooting two young people inside a Southern California movie theater last July has pleaded not guilty, and not guilty by reason of insanity, to two counts of murder.

Joseph Jimenez, 20, did not speak during Monday’s hearing at the Riverside Hall of Justice, letting his attorney enter the pleas, the Press-Enterprise reported.

FILE – Joseph Jimenez, 20, left, appears in the Riverside Hall of Justice, Friday, July 30, 2021, in Riverside, Calif. Jimenez, charged with fatally shooting two people at a Southern California movie theater, is blaming voices in his head that he says tormented him for months. (Will Lester/The Orange County Register via AP, File)

The two different not-guilty pleas were necessary, said John Hall, a spokesman for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, because there would be two phases if the case goes to trial: a guilt phase, and a phase to determine whether Jimenez was insane.

Attorneys are scheduled to return to court on Oct. 22 to discuss the appointment of a defense psychiatrist, the newspaper said.

Rylee Goodrich, 18, and Anthony Barajas, 19, were shot July 26 at a theater at the Regal Edwards cinema in the city of Corona. Goodrich died at the scene. Barajas, a budding social media star, died at a hospital.

FILE – In this July 27, 2021 file photo news crews report from in front of the Regal Edwards Corona Crossings movie theater. A young man who had been on life support after he and a friend were shot inside a Southern California movie theater has died, police and his family said Saturday, July 31, 2021. (Terry Pierson/The Orange County Register via AP, file)

Barajas, known online as itsanthonymichael, had nearly 1 million followers on TikTok and more on other platforms.

The suspect acted alone, and there was no indication he knew the victims or that Barajas’ role as a TikTok influencer played a role in the crime, police said shortly after the shooting.

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