Accused Accomplice in Jack in the Box Murders Refuses to Appear in Court, Victims’ Families Disappointed

By Talia Kruger

RIVERSIDE, CA — The scheduled sentencing hearing of Desmond Ochoa and Kamyron Barnett, accused accomplices in the double homicide of two people at a Jack in the Box, was unable to proceed Thursday after Barnett’s refusal to appear in Riverside County Superior Court. The men are accused of committing murder, attempted murder, gang activity and discharge of firearm from vehicle.

The murders, which took place in March of 2018, were allegedly part of a drive-by shooting of brothers JJ and Eli (last names not used because they were minors). While a minor was the alleged shooter of the men, he was allegedly convinced to do so by Barnett, who authorities claim was the ringleader in this alleged gang-related crime.

As for Ochoa, he allegedly drove the car that the gunfire came from, allowing the minor to successfully aim and fire at the brothers.

Prosecutors charge the “gang” planned the murders up to one year before they occurred. Thursday, many of the victims’ family members flew in to appear in court, with the intention of invoking their “Marsy’s Law” right to give a statement of impact.

However, Judge Bernard Schwartz announced the sentencing hearing would need to be rescheduled due to Barnett’s refusal to come to court.

Judge Schwartz invited the victims’ family members to deliver their statements that day, but also gave them the option to wait until both men were forced to appear in court.

Ultimately, the loved ones of the victims expressed their desire to deliver their statements only when both men were present. Said one of the victims, “This case has been a whirlwind of events, and the fact that he was too cowardly to appear in court is frustrating.”

Judge Schwartz assured family members that the next time Barnett would attend court, by force if needed, and wouldn’t be able to dodge the statements of impact they had prepared.

The rescheduled sentencing hearing is to take place Sept. 14.

About The Author

Talia Kruger is a 3rd year Criminology major at UC Irvine. She plans to get her paralegal certification and enter the legal field before eventually applying to law school. Her aim is to become an environmental attorney or criminal defense attorney, and advocate for criminal justice reform.

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