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Joseph Jimenez Jr. sentenced to life without parole for fatal California movie theater shooting

A man convicted of fatally shooting two teenagers at a Southern California movie theater during a 2021 showing of “The Forever Purge” was sentenced Monday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Joseph Jimenez Jr., 23, was found guilty in December of two counts of first-degree murder, as well as a sentencing enhancement of personal use of a firearm causing death.

Joseph Jimenez Jr. makes a brief statement prior to being sentenced at the Riverside Hall of Justice on Feb. 26, 2024, in Riverside, Calif., as defense attorney Charles Kenyon listens. AP
Rylee Goodrich was shot and killed at a Regal theater on July 26, 2021. Instagram
Anthony Barajas, a rising social media star, was shot at the theater and later died in the hospital. Instagram

Prosecutors said he shot Rylee Goodrich, 18, and Anthony Barajas, 19, in the back of the head as they watched a late-night showing of the horror-action film at a theater in Corona, southeast of Los Angeles, on July 26, 2021.

They were the only other people in the theater.

Goodrich died at the scene. Barajas, a budding social media star, died at a hospital.

Jimenez initially pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Catherine Barajas, mother of murdered teen Anthony Barajas, wipes away tears as she gives her victim impact statement as Jimenez Jr., (L) looks on at the Riverside Hall of Justice on Feb. 26, 2024. AP

He was ruled sane in December by Superior Court Judge Timothy J. Hollenhorst.

In a jailhouse interview with the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Jimenez said that he had been recently diagnosed with schizophrenia but that shortly before the shooting he had stopped taking his medication because he ran out of pills.

Jimenez told the newspaper that the only way he could save himself from the victims was to shoot them.

Written by SaleemBaloch

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