RIVERSIDE – A tattoo artist accused of inflicting ultimately fatal injuries on a friend during a confrontation at the victim’s Riverside apartment pleaded not guilty today to a murder charge.
Bert Andrew Navarro, 28, of Moreno Valley could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted of killing 29-year-old Joshua Krachey.
Navarro appeared with his public defender before Riverside County Superior Judge Becky Dugan, who scheduled a felony settlement conference in the case for May 20 and kept the defendant’s bail at $1 million.
Navarro is being held at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.
According to Riverside police, Navarro went to Krachey’s apartment at 3453 Sixth St. on the night of March 20 to pay a visit and do some tattoo work, but apparently discovered he did not have the appropriate equipment. The defendant and victim headed into downtown Riverside for several hours, returning to the apartment around 3 a.m., investigators said.
For reasons still unclear, the two men got into an altercation in which Navarro allegedly beat Krachey unconscious.
Neighbors heard the commotion and called 911. Officers entered the apartment and found Krachey on a blood-soaked floor, ”suffering from traumatic head injuries,” said Sgt. David Amador.
The victim was taken to Riverside Community Hospital, where he lingered in a coma for three days before succumbing to his injuries, Amador said.
According to the sergeant, Navarro was arrested when he returned to Krachey’s apartment a few hours after the alleged beating.
According to court records, the defendant has a 2008 felony conviction for shooting at an inhabited structure. He was sentenced to seven months in jail and three years probation.