A Cathedral City resident accused of gunning down a Palm Springs man and then kidnapping two women was ordered today to stand trial on murder and other charges.
Chad Patrick Barrera, 31, is charged with killing 36-year-old Ryan Potts, who was found shot to death on April 20 in an apartment in the 300 block of West Mariscal Road.
After the shooting, Barrera allegedly kidnapped two women, ages 24 and 21, and was involved in a traffic collision near Interstate 10 and Date Palm Drive, Palm Springs police Sgt. Mike Kovaleff said.
Barrera is charged with murder, kidnapping, carjacking, injury DUI with blood-alcohol level over .10, being a felon in possession of a firearm and two counts of possession of a controlled substance, all felonies.
At the end of a daylong preliminary hearing at the Larson Justice Center in Indio, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Harold W. Hopp ruled there was enough evidence for Barrera to stand trial on all but one controlled substance count, saying there was no evidence that he possessed Vicodin.
The judge said there was enough evidence that Barrera had methamphetamine.
“The evidence was they were all high. Mr. Barrera by his own admission consumed four tablets of Ecstasy and was driving a car, to put it mildly, erratically,” Hopp said.
Kovaleff said Barrera was initially taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence and later arrested on suspicion of murder and
kidnapping. The California Highway Patrol learned about the slaying during the crash investigation and notified police, who found the victim.
Police found out about the kidnappings after they started investigating, Kovaleff said.
Barrera, Potts and the two women knew each other, the sergeant said, but did not elaborate. Police withheld the women’s names and didn’t disclose a motive for the shooting or abductions.
Barrera is due back in court on July 31 for a post-indictment arraignment. He’s being in lieu of $1 million bail.