Ridgecrest man accused of killing a neighbor enters plea

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A Ridgecrest man charged with first-degree murder, accused of killing his neighbor in a domestic disturbance entered a not guilty plea Wednesday in court.

The sheriff's office says 62-year-old Jose Romero struck his wife with a handgun several times at a home in Ridgecrest over a week ago.

Although she was wounded, she escaped. As Romero searched for her, deputies say he confronted his neighbor, 63-year-old Elsa Rodas, where he believed his wife was hiding and shot Rodas with a rifle.Rodas died at the scene.

Romero is being held without bail and is due back in court next month.

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