BANNING – An ex-con and his alleged accomplice pleaded not guilty today to fatally shooting a San Jacinto woman.
Traevon Denae Stewart, 40, and Michael Wayne Bird, 63, both of Banning, are accused in the April 29 slaying of 40-year-old Latoya Calhoun.
Stewart is charged with murder, two counts of making criminal threats, one count of evading arrest and a special circumstance allegation of killing in the course of a robbery. Bird is charged with being an accessory to murder.
They were arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Mark Johnson, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for June 30 at the Banning Justice Center.
Stewart is being held without bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning; Bird is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail at the same facility. According to sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Himmelberg, Calhoun was shot multiple times and dumped from a moving vehicle in the 2600 block of Esplanade Avenue, near Kirby Street, in San Jacinto shortly before 6 a.m. Paramedics arrived a few minutes later and pronounced the victim dead at the scene.
Detectives developed leads pointing to Stewart as the alleged shooter, and he was arrested in Banning in the predawn hours of May 1. Bird was taken into custody the following day without incident.
Whether Calhoun knew either man, and why Stewart allegedly shot her have not been disclosed.
According to court records, Stewart has prior convictions for assault with a firearm and possession of drugs for sale while Bird has priors for carrying a concealed firearm and being in possession of a controlled substance.