Three county jail inmates will stand trial on charges they murdered Ramon Eugene Paleo, 22, of El Centro who was stabbed 196 times in the county jail Oct. 22.
After a preliminary hearing that lasted several days, Superior Court Judge Matias Contreras ruled there is enough evidence for Angel Francisco Ayala, 25, Armando Valenzuela Leal, 24, both of El Centro, and Gustavo Vega, 24, of Calexico to stand trial for Paleo's murder. Contreras also found an allegation of torture could be taken to trial.
Ayala and Leal also were bound over for trial for the attempted murder of Genaro Ramirez Ponce, 22, of Imperial, who was choked and stabbed in the incident. Vega was not bound over on that count.
Testimony at the trial indicated Paleo may have been targeted because he was going to testify in a court case.
According to county Sheriff's Office officials, jail staffers had let inmates in module Delta stay up past their 10 p.m. curfew the night before the murder as a reward for good behavior and keeping the module clean all week. At 1:10 a.m. correctional staff told the inmates to report to their cells.