None of the defendants were able to enter a plea to the special circumstance charges because their attorneys are still awaiting discovery from police and prosecutors, Defense Attorney Jay Glaser explained.
Christopher Ramirez, 20, of Mira Loma, and Jose Duenas, 19, and Antonio Portales, 21, both of Long Beach, are each charged in the attack, which resulted in the death of Jose Campos.
Witnesses told police they saw a person being shoved into the trunk of a car on Sept. 7, at about 11:52 p.m. n the 1200 block of 10th Street. Based on the description given, officers stopped a car a few blocks away from that location and found blood in the trunk, but no body, officials said.
Officers returned to the location where witnesses saw the confrontation and found a gun and a bloody hammer. As the search was unfolding another 911 call came in about a gunshot in an alley in the 1000 block of St. Louis Avenue, which is where the 24-year-old victim was found in critical condition. He died the following Monday, police said.
Officers were able to link the two men detained in the traffic stop to the victim and arrested them. A third suspect found at an apartment complex near the 10th Street crime scene was also connected to the murder and kidnapping and was arrested, police said.
Investigators said it appeared the victim met with the suspects in Riverside County earlier in the evening. After an argument, the victim was assaulted and forced into a car and driven to Long Beach, where he was attacked a second time before he was shoved into the trunk, driven a few blocks away, dumped in the alley and shot.
The three men charged in the case were ordered Thursday to be returned to the Long Beach Superior Court on Nov. 29 for their arraignment. Duenas and Ramirez are being held in lieu of $1 million bail each while Portales was ordered held without bail due to a probation violation.