A 35-year-old woman accused of torturing an elderly person to death and dumping his remains in a trash can outside a gated community in La Quinta is to stand trial on murder and other charges, a judge.
Cristina Noelle Canimo of Palm Desert is accused of killing 87-year-old Ronald Clarke in a November 2019 attack at a boarding and care facility.
Following a preliminary hearing at the Larson Justice Center in Indio, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gregory Olson ruled there was enough evidence to warrant a trial on the first count of murder. degree, as well as on one count of torture, a special circumstance allegation of having inflicted torture in the course of a murder and allegations of weapons reinforcing the sentence.
Olson has scheduled an arraignment after the preliminary hearing for Aug. 3. Canimo is being held without bail at Robert Presley Prison in Riverside.
The special circumstance allegation leaves open the possibility that the accused could face the death penalty if convicted. However, the district attorney’s office has not yet announced whether prosecutors will prosecute him.
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Canimo allegedly beat Clarke to death on Nov. 21, 2019, at a residential care home, known as “Sunbrook,” in the 43-500 block of East Parkway Esplanade, where she was a caregiver and he was a patient, according to the sheriff. investigators.
Prosecutors allege the defendant used a knife, box cutter, screwdriver and hammer on the victim.
Sunbrook had been the subject of multiple assessment and complaint investigations by the California Department of Human Services between 2015 and 2019.
The motive for the murder remains unknown.
Canimo has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.