CATHEDRAL CITY: Murder charges filed against suspects in beating

Murder charges were filed May 26 against two men who allegedly beat and robbed a man outside a Cathedral City bar last summer, rendering the victim comatose from injuries that ultimately proved fatal.

Jorge Tapia, 37, and Andrew Ponce, 44, are accused of attacking Rolando Rodriguez June 25, 2016, outside the Block Sports Bar and Grill. Rodriguez lingered in a coma until he died of his injuries on Oct. 26, Riverside County Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Tapp said.

Tapia and Ponce, who have been in custody since last July, were initially charged with attempted murder and robbery, but are scheduled to be arraigned on murder charges Thursday afternoon in Indio.

Similar charges are also likely against Michael Rios, 36, who was arrested in connection with the beating in January and also charged with attempted murder and robbery.

Tapia and Ponce were taken into custody in Cathedral City just over a month after the attack, which occurred about 2 a.m. outside the bar at 68955 Ramon Road.

All three men are being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

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