Felon Accused of Fatally Stabbing Man in Noise Dispute to Stand Trial

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A gang member accused of joining a cohort in fatally stabbing a Banning man and wounding the victim’s son during a confrontation over loud noise must stand trial on murder and other charges, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Jerry Anthony Valdepena, 25, was arrested last year following a years-long investigation that identified him as the second person involved in the 2016 slaying of 26-year-old Jeremy Cooley.

At the end of a preliminary hearing, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Jorge Hernandez found there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial on the murder count, along with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and a special circumstance allegation of killing for the benefit of a criminal street gang.

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