LANCASTER – Two Palmdale brothers allegedly involved in a car-to-car shooting that left a 7-year-old girl dead appeared in an Antelope Valley courtroom late Friday afternoon to face murder charges.
Jesus Alberto Peralta, 22, and Carlos Peralta, 19, did not enter a plea and their arraignment was postponed until Friday, Sept. 20. Family members of the Peralta brothers were in court Friday, but refused to speak with the media.
The brothers are each charged with one count of willful, deliberate and premeditated murder and shooting at an occupied motor vehicle, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
The men also face three counts of attempted murder, and the criminal case includes gun and gang allegations, the DA’s office said.
Prosecutors say the charges stem from an incident on Sept. 4 that led to the death of 7-year-old Desiree Ybarra (identified as Desirae Macias by the coroner’s office).
The incident occurred just before 1 a.m., and started out at the gas station at Fort Tejon Road and Pearblossom Highway(“Four Points”). The brothers allegedly issued a gang challenge to a male victim, and after a brief confrontation, the victim left the scene with his girlfriend and her two children, according to prosecutors.
The Peralta brothers got in a car, chased the victims and fired several rounds at the vehicle containing the family, prosecutors allege. Some time during the chase, the little girl was shot in the head. She was later pronounced brain dead at a local hospital, according to the DA’s office.
A short time after the shooting, a sheriff’s deputy was patrolling the surrounding neighborhood and saw a vehicle matching the description of the suspects’ vehicle. Deputies conducted a traffic stop and arrested the Peralta brothers and 20-year-old Eduardo Diaz of Littlerock.
The District Attorney’s office declined to press charges against Diaz due to insufficient evidence, according to Public Information Officer Shiara Davila-Morales. The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Bail for each brother has been set at $8 million. If convicted as charged, the brothers each face a maximum prison sentence of 185 years to life.
Previous related story: Girl killed in car-to-car shooting in Palmdale
UPDATED 9/20/13: The Peralta brothers appeared in an Antelope Valley courtroom for a scheduled arraignment on Friday, Sept. 20. However, the arraignment was postponed again, this time until October 4.
UPDATE 10/4/13: The Peralta brothers appeared in an Antelope Valley courtroom for arraignment on Friday, Oct. 4, but the arraignment was delayed yet again. The arraignment is now scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 7.
UPDATE 11/7/13: The Peralta brothers appeared in an Antelope Valley courtroom for a scheduled arraignment on Thursday, Nov. 7, but the arraignment was again postponed. The arraignment is now scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 10. We will continue following this story.
UPDATE 12/10/13: The Peralta brothers appeared in an Antelope Valley courtroom for a scheduled arraignment on Tuesday, Dec. 10, but the arraignment was postponed yet again. The new arraignment date is Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014.
UPDATE 1/14/14: The arraignment for the Peralta brothers has now been postponed to Tuesday, Feb. 4, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. We will continue to follow this story.