Inmate Jose Paez has entered a plea of “not guilty” in the first-degree murder of a Lemoore man, and will return to court in two months' time.
On Tuesday morning at the Kings County Superior Courthouse, Paez's attorney, Ernest Scott Kinney, confirmed that his defendant was pleading as such, and requested more time from Judge Randy Edwards to review the case. Kinney initially asked for Nov. 19 to return to court, but this was extended to Dec. 7 by the judge. The next meeting will be to set up a date for a preliminary hearing, in which prosecution will be tasked with demonstrating sufficient enough evidence of probable cause, before the trial can proceed.
Paez, 36, has been accused of the murder of 34-year-old Terry Michael Ryan in Lemoore on July 10.
Lemoore Police officers received a call regarding a man in a vehicle suffering from gunshot wounds in the 700 block of South Lemoore Avenue. Officers and EMS arrived and found Ryan, who was pronounced dead on the scene.
Investigators found that Ryan had been pursued by a dark-colored SUV and that the driver of the vehicle had opened fire while in pursuit. They also identified Paez as the suspect.
The next day at 7:45 a.m., Lemoore Police detectives and the Kings County Major Crimes Task Force contacted Paez in Kerman. He was found to be in possession of a loaded firearm at the time of his arrest.
In addition to first-degree murder, Paez faces charges of possession of a firearm with a previous felony, and a weapons enhancement to his murder charge, which would add another year onto his sentence if convicted.