March 15, 2017: Man Charged with Capital Murder for El Monte Killing
A 20-year-old man pleaded not guilty today to fatally shooting a restaurant employee during an attempted robbery last year, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Louie Francisco Herrera (dob 8/11/96) of San Gabriel has been charged with one count of murder in case KA114337. The felony complaint includes a special circumstance allegation that the killing was committed during an attempted robbery. The charging document also alleges the defendant personally and intentionally discharged a handgun, which caused great bodily injury and death on the victim.
Deputy District Attorney Ross Alari, who is prosecuting the case, said on Oct. 21, 2016, Herrera reportedly tried to rob a fast food restaurant in the 9200 block of Flair Drive in El Monte.
During the attempted robbery, the defendant allegedly shot one of the employee’s in the chest, the prosecutor added.
Victim Juan Vidal, 25, died soon after the shooting. Herrera reportedly fled the scene, according to the prosecutor.
Following the incident, law enforcement held a news conference about the fatal shooting and presented surveillance video of the crime. After reviewing the video, a member of the public reached out to authorities and identified the defendant as the possible shooter, the prosecutor said.
Herrera was arrested on Jan. 9 and charged in connection with the killing two days later.
The defendant is scheduled to return to court on April 17 for a pre-preliminary hearing in Department N of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pomona Branch.
If convicted as charged, the defendant faces the death penalty or life in state prison without the possibility of parole. The decision on whether to seek the death penalty will be made at a later date.
The case is being investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau.