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Man sentenced to life in prison for killing 2 in Corona movie theater

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A man, who committed an unfathomable act of violence by shooting and killing a TikTok star and an 18-year-old college student at a Corona movie theater three years ago, has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Joseph Jimenez Jr., 23, faced his sentencing in a Riverside courtroom after being convicted during a December trial of two counts of first-degree murder, along with a sentencing enhancement of personal use of a firearm causing death.

The tragic incident took place on July 26, 2021, when Jimenez fatally shot 19-year-old TikTok star Anthony Barajas and college sophomore Rylee Goodrich, both from Corona, during a screening of the film “The Forever Purge” at the Regal Edwards Corona Crossings theater. Shockingly, there were only six people in the theater at the time, with Barajas and Goodrich on their first date.

In a chilling, unprovoked attack, Jimenez retrieved a gun from his car during the end credits of the movie and sneakily approached the victims before opening fire. Authorities emphasized that there was no prior connection between Jimenez and the victims, making the motive behind the attack even more incomprehensible.

Describing the gruesome scene, officials revealed that Barajas was shot “execution-style,” while Goodrich also sustained a point-blank gunshot wound to the head. Tragically, Goodrich succumbed to her injuries on the spot, while Barajas fought for his life in a hospital before eventually succumbing to his injuries after being taken off life support.

Following the devastating incident, Jimenez was apprehended the next day based on information provided by his acquaintances, who informed law enforcement that he had exited the theater mid-movie and returned with a bag containing a weapon. Subsequent investigations led to the recovery of the firearm used in the shooting, as well as additional incriminating evidence at Jimenez’s residence.

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Initially pleading not guilty by reason of insanity, Jimenez later confessed during his insanity trial that he had refrained from taking his schizophrenia medication on the day of the killings and was tormented by voices in his head, including those of “Abigail” and another unnamed individual, warning him of the victims’ perceived threat.

In a revealing jailhouse interview with the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Jimenez disclosed his recent schizophrenia diagnosis but admitted to ceasing his medication intake due to pill depletion. He disturbingly justified his heinous actions as a means of self-preservation against the imagined danger posed by the victims.

In a significant turn of events, Superior Court Judge Timothy J. Hollenhorst rendered Jimenez sane in December, citing pivotal factors such as his post-shooting behavior, including the theft of Goodrich’s wallet and his casual interaction with a female concession worker before the movie. Additionally, Hollenhorst highlighted Jimenez’s warning to friends about the impending shooting, his escape through an emergency exit, and delayed disclosure of the auditory hallucinations to local law enforcement.

Reflecting on the impact of this senseless tragedy, it is imperative to acknowledge the bright futures prematurely extinguished by Jimenez’s callous act. Barajas, popular on TikTok under the handle itsanthonymichael, boasted a substantial following on the platform and was a former student of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana. Meanwhile, Goodrich, a sophomore at Grand Canyon University, had ventured to the theater for a first date with Barajas following his return from a trip to Hawaii.

As the community grapples with the aftermath of this tragic event, the resolution of Jimenez’s sentencing brings a measure of closure. Justice has been served for the innocent lives lost to senseless violence, but the scars left by this harrowing incident will undoubtedly endure for a lifetime.

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Court Prepares for Unprecedented Trump Trial Amid Protests, Traffic, and Crowds

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As Manhattan’s Criminal Courts Building, located at 100 Centre Street, prepares for the highly anticipated criminal trial of former President Donald J. Trump, the atmosphere is tense and the security measures are ramping up. The building itself may not be the most appealing, surrounded by scaffolding and neighboring a demolition site, but it is gearing up to be the epicenter of a trial like no other.

Preparations for this trial have been quietly underway for months, with court and law enforcement personnel remaining tight-lipped about the specifics. However, as jury selection is set to begin on Monday, right-wing supporters of Trump have already announced plans for protests near the courthouse, adding to the already heightened tension.

The trial revolves around charges that Trump falsified business records to cover up a hush-money payment to a porn star before the 2016 election. Security for Trump, the Manhattan district attorney Alvin L. Bragg, and Judge Juan M. Merchan will be extraordinarily high. Trump is required to be present in court every day, but has the option to request to be excused.

The former president has hinted at the possibility of testifying in the case, adding to the media frenzy that is expected to surround the trial. Trump’s presence, as well as the associated traffic and crowds, could create significant disruptions in Lower Manhattan, especially during his commute from Trump Tower to the courthouse.

With the anticipation of protests and counterprotests, as well as long lines for security checks, the court environment is expected to be chaotic. Additionally, Trump’s potential campaigning at his office tower near the courthouse adds another layer of complexity to an already tense situation.

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Calls for protests from Trump’s allies are already being answered, with right-wing activist Laura Loomer planning to be present with a camera crew. Loomer’s presence is expected to bring controversy, as she has been critical of Justice Merchan’s daughter and has a history of provocative actions.

The New York Young Republican Club is also planning rallies near the courthouse, indicating the divisive nature of the trial. Regardless of the legal proceedings, the trial is shaping up to be a political spectacle, with various groups vying for attention and support.

The security measures in place, including the involvement of the Secret Service, the NYPD, and the court system, aim to ensure the safety of all involved. It will be a first for a former president to face a criminal trial, but the authorities are confident in their ability to handle the situation.

As the trial unfolds, the eyes of the nation will be on 100 Centre Street, where a historic and unprecedented legal battle is set to take place.

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