Man pleads not guilty in French Valley shooting case

MURRIETA – A Menifee man accused of firing a handgun at a motorist in French Valley pleaded not guilty today to shooting at an occupied vehicle.

Andre Edwin Alvarez, 21, was arrested in March following a Riverside County sheriff’s investigation into the alleged attack near the intersection of Calistoga Drive and Murrieta Hot Springs Road, just west of French Valley Airport.

Alvarez was arraigned before Superior Court Judge Mark Mandio, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for July 18 at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.

The defendant is free on a $50,000 bond.

According to sheriff’s Sgt. Russ Hilton, shortly before 6 p.m. on March 11, a man stopped at Calistoga and Murrieta Hot Springs encountered Alvarez in another vehicle, and the defendant allegedly fired a single shot into the victim’s car, then sped away.

The driver immediately called 911, and deputies arrived moments later, searching the area for the shooter without success, Hilton said.

He said that after gathering additional information from the victim and other witnesses, deputies confirmed the alleged assailant’s identity, culminating in Alvarez being arrested without incident that night.

A possible motive for the attack was not disclosed.

Alvarez has no prior documented felony convictions.

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